A Path Towards Violent Free Sex

By Nicole Mclaren

The term sexual violence refers to sexual activity that occurs without freely given consent. The definition includes a variety of different experiences even sexual harassment even without contact. Sexual violence is still a significant problem in the U.S. According the the Center for Disease Control 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men reported being raped at some point in their life. Over 35% of the women who were raped, were raped between the ages of 18-24. While women are more at risk than men, transgender folks are at even higher risk for being victims of sexual violence. It is important to remember that sexual violence does not impact everyone in the same way and other social identities and situations can influence one’s vulnerability and access to help after the violent act.

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) tells us that there are ways that you can prevent being sexually assaulted like not posting your location on social media, staying alert and knowing your resources. There are also ways to help others if you are a witness to the assault. You can create a distraction, ask directly, enlist others in the situation, or call the authorities. It is important that we know our role in preventing and dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault.

If you know someone who is a survivor of sexual assault the first thing that you should remember to do is to listen to them and refrain from judging them or the situation. It is important that you encourage them to seek medical attention and mental health support. RAINN offers a hotline for victims of sexual violence. 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org