About Sexual Assault
- A sexual assault occurs in the U.S. once every three minutes.
- One out of every six women will be a victim of a sexual assault in her lifetime.
- In 84% of all sexual assault cases, there is some degree of acquaintance between the victim and the assailant.
- Sexual Assault is the most under-reported of all violent crimes.
About Incest/Child Sexual Assault
IF SOMEONE YOU KNOW WAS HURT
After a friend, significant other, or family member discloses a sexual assault, it is common for a support person to want to help, but often don’t know how which can result in feelings of helplessness. The following are suggested ways you can offer support.
Listen; do not judge. Now is the time for you to offer non-judgmental support to your friend/ significant other/family member. Try to avoid asking questions as to why they were there, what they did to fend off the perpetrator, etc. These questions can make the survivor feel as if they are at fault for the assault, or worse, that you believe they did something wrong.
She/He is not to blame. Let her/him know she/he is not at fault for the assault. This is crucial. Many rape victims blame themselves. She/He needs to be reassured that the rapist holds all responsibility for the assault.
Offer Comfort. She/He has experienced something traumatic and needs support and comfort. Though it may feel as if you’re not actually doing anything, offering unconditional support can be priceless.
Be Available. She/He may need to talk often and sometimes at odd hours. She/He may not have a lot of people with whom they feel comfortable talking about assault. Sometimes this can lead to a heavy burden on the support person. Do what you can, but also offer information about the Crisis Intervention & Advocacy Center’s 24-hour crisis line: 515-993-4095 or utilize walk-in services or support groups.