1 in 4 women will survive a sexual assault by the time they graduate college.
In the 1980s, my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She did not share the diagnosis with anybody, because back then, breast cancer was not something women talked about. Fast forward thirty years, and every October, ubiquitous pink ribbons remind us daily of a disease that effects 1 in 8 women. The breast cancer movement has done remarkable work; conversations about breast cancer are commonplace, and money is getting poured into research for a cure. It is imperative that we start making some of the same progress in the area of sexual violence.
over 293,000 people survive a sexual assault in the united states every year. that's one person every 107 seconds.
Sexual assault is a silent crime. Perpetrators count on their victims to remain silent, and the statistics suggest that silence is by far the norm. A mere 3% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. In large part, society's treatment of women who have both survived sexual violence, and disclosed their experiences, ensures that women will continue to remain silent. In the midst of the recent Bill Cosby scandal, one of Bill Cosby's victims, Joan Tarshis, appeared on CNN. Instead of using his two minute segment to cover the story, CNN reporter Don Lemon spent a portion of the interview explaining to Ms. Tarshis how she could have avoided the experience entirely. Not only is this irresponsible reporting, it's downright insulting. His line of questioning represents the mindset that so many people share. As long as that mindset exists, rape culture as we know it will not change.
17.7 million women in the united states have survived an attempted, or completed rape.
I want us to learn how to have conversations about rape. I want us to learn how to prevent rape. I want us to stop protecting rapists, and I want us to start supporting survivors. I want women who have survived sexual assault to hear my story, and feel validated. I want them to know that no matter where they are in their recovery process, that they are in the right place. One in four women have survived a sexual assault. One in four. It's time for us to start supporting the women in our lives, and it's time for us to start supporting one another.
"owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we'll ever do."
-scholar, author and public speaker brené brown
Data from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, see their website https://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics for complete bibliography