Some general statistics about sexual trauma:
- In the United States, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men report experiencing an attempted or completed rape at some time in their lives.
- Rape results in about 32,000 pregnancies each year.
- Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in the United States, someone is sexually assaulted.
- 67% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone known to the victim.
- 77% of completed rapes are committed by someone who is known to the victim.
- Women are more likely than men to be victims of sexual violence; 78% of the victims of rape and sexual assault are women, and 22% are men.
- More than half of all rapes of women (54%) occur before age 18; 22% of these occur before age 12. For men, 75% of all rapes occur before age 18, and 48% before age 12.7
- Of the nearly 400,000 rapes and sexual assaults reported between 1993 and 1999, 29% reportedly took place in the presence of a third party. In 11% of the reported sexual assault/rape incidents, one or more victims were assaulted.
- Victims of rape and sexual assault report that in nearly 3 out of 4 incidents, the offender was not a stranger. Based on police-recorded incident data, in 90% of the rapes of children younger than 12, the child knew the offender. Two-thirds of the victims 18 to 29 years old had a prior relationship with the rapist. (BARCC, http://www.barcc.org/assets/pdf/Statistics_Download_-_General.pdf)
“In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure no one listens.”
― Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery
Voice is so incredibly powerful and important. So is our capacity for connection. Last night in class, we were grateful to welcome the Survivor Speakers Bureau from the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC). Together we were able to hold space for the experiences of the speakers and honor the courage each had in sharing their story. I have found the impact of the Survivors Speakers Series on my classes to be beyond measure. Connection with survivors is so important to practitioners in criminal justice and trauma related fields. It is my hope that students go on to actively and authentically engage these issues. To become involved.
We must address sexual trauma directly – this is unfortunately an area where we still have so far to go.
In Boston, we are lucky to have the resource of BARCC. Connect with their resources. Be supportive in whatever way you can. . .
Share information with others
Participate in their upcoming Walk for Change or make a donation (April 23rd)
If you are not local, RAINN is a great national resource.
And look for more to come on my upcoming collaboration with the Yoga Service Council in creating Best Practices for Yoga with Survivors of Sexual Trauma.