Every April, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) coordinates a month-long Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign. The goals of this campaign include educating and engaging the public in addressing the widespread issue of sexual assault via awareness, prevention, and how to support those affected by it.
The term “sexual assault” is an umbrella term that includes all of the following:
- Unwanted sexual contact of any form
- Sexual harassment
- Child sexual abuse
- Sexual violence, including with an intimate partner
- Sexual exploitation
- Human trafficking
Sexual Assault Statistics
- Texas is ranked as the 15th most dangerous state for rape and sexual assault in the United States.
- According to FBI crime statistics, Texas has a rate of 55.2 rapes and sexual assaults per 100,000 people.
- One out of six women will experience rape or attempted rape in their lifetime, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
- Approximately 80% of the time, sexual assault victims know their attacker.
- Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted; every 9 minutes the victim is a child.
- One out of every ten rape victims in the United States is male.
- The estimated lifetime financial loss due to rape is $122,461 per victim. This includes medical costs, loss of productivity, criminal justice costs, and other associated losses.
- Sexual assault is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported.
Who is Most at Risk and How to Protect Yourself?
Overall, women have a higher risk of being sexually assaulted than men. 90% of adult victims are female, and 82% of child victims are female. Female children aged 12 and up, through adult women up to age 34 are most at risk of being sexually assaulted, and people with disabilities or who are transgender have a risk that is at least doubled.
Male college students are particularly vulnerable, with students aged 18-24 experiencing five times as many rapes as other men the same age who do not attend college.
Some essential safety tips that can help you protect yourself include:
- Only meet strangers (online dating for example) in public places.
- Perform a background check on any strangers you plan to meet.
- Never leave a drink unattended and keep it covered.
- Check the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) list of risk factors to help identify perpetrators of sexual violence and if you identify the characteristics, use additional caution around that person.
- Contact the police if you are concerned about your safety!
Sexual Assault Prevention
The best way to counter sexual assault and violence is by preventing it from happening in the first place. The CDC developed STOP SV, a resource to help communities take advantage of the best available evidence to prevent sexual violence. The strategy includes:
- S: Promote Social Norms that protect against violence
- T: Teach skills to prevent sexual violence
- O: Provide Opportunities to empower and support girls and women
- P: Create Protective environments
- SV: Support Victims/survivors to lessen harm
Programs like STOP SV help people know what to look for and how to step in and prevent sexual violence, but overall awareness and education are the best tools to work towards lessening sexual violence statistics. Every April, NSVRC runs a campaign to target a specific area of sexual assault awareness and prevention.
SAAM 2022: Building Safe Online Spaces Together
Each year, there is a theme for the NSVRC SAAM campaign. The theme for 2022 is Building Safe Online Spaces Together because sexual harassment, assault, or abuse can happen anywhere, at any time, including online. 41% of Americans have been personally subjected to online harassment behaviors and 66% of Americans have witnessed these behaviors. The SAAM campaign works with a variety of non-profit organizations and foundations to spread awareness and prevention through education programs, public events, and petitions for legislative action.
As technology and the internet has integrated more into our daily lives, our awareness of ways it can be used to perpetrate harm requires attention. Concepts such as sextortion, revenge porn, and doxxing have become widespread concerns and realities for many. Learning how digital harm may occur is a necessary starting point for building safe online spaces. The most common types of digital harm include, but are not limited to:
- Cyberflashing or unwanted nudes
- Revenge porn
These types of abuse are no less harmful just because they happen online. Digital harassment oftentimes is long-lasting harm, as the content is public, unerasable, and emotionally damaging for the victim. Additionally, victims may feel hopeless, as there is typically little recourse available due to the anonymity of the internet. If you or someone you love have been a victim of digital sexual assault, reach out to one of the resources below for support.
Sexual Assault Survivor Resources
What should I do if I’ve been assaulted?
- Get to a safe place. If you think you are still in danger, call 911.
- Contact a friend or family member you trust or call your local rape crisis center hotline for support.
- If you are thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
- Get medical attention as soon as possible at a hospital or clinic. If possible, go to a medical facility that has certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs).
If you’ve been physically assaulted and want to collect evidence:
- Do not shower
- Do not use the bathroom
- Do not change or destroy clothing
- Keep clothing and store it in a paper bag (plastic bags can destroy evidence)
- Do not eat or drink
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country.
- 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) is a free, confidential national hotline 24/7
- Visit Rainn.org to use their online chat service.
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
NSCRC provides research and tools to help end sexual assault.
If you are a student at a university, additional options will be available to you through your school’s resources.
Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center
DARCC serves all individuals who have been impacted by sexual violence in a comprehensive program, including counseling, crisis intervention, and advocacy for those whose lives have been affected by domestic violence.
- 24/7 Crisis Hotline: (972) 641-7273
Dallas Police Department Victim Services
The DPD Victim Services unit provides support to victims who may have suffered physical injuries or trauma as a result of violent crime.
- Crimes Against Persons Division (Main Number): (214) 671-3584
Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center
DCAC works in agreement with public and private agencies to investigate, prosecute, and provide healing services for child abuse cases in Dallas County.
- Victim Assistance Coordinator: (214) 818-2613
Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault
LASSA provides survivors of sexual assault with a range of free legal services from general advice to comprehensive, direct representation on civil legal matters.
The Turning Point (Rape Crisis Center)
The Turning Point offers in-person crisis and advocacy services, as well as a 24/7 hotline.
- 24/7 Crisis Hotline: (972) 985-0951
Our Sexual Assault Lawyers Are Ready to Help
GreeningLaw, P.C. is ready to fight for justice for you or your loved one if they’ve been sexually abused. As one of the most recognized personal injury law firms in Texas, we have the experience and expertise to pursue individuals and organizations who have violated your trust or the trust of those unable to protect themselves against predators. With GreeningLaw, we treat each case with the same dedication we would extend to our own family, bringing everything in our power to bear to ensure that our clients get the justice and compensation they deserve.
Contact us 24/7 to schedule a free consultation. In that consultation, we will ask about details surrounding your case, discuss possible compensation you may receive, and suggest the best course of action. And, because our attorneys work on a contingency basis, you don’t pay a dime unless we win your case.
We fight the legal battle so you have time for healing and renewal!