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This+is+what+I+was+wearing+when+I+was+sexually+assaulted.+It+doesn%27t+matter+what+you+were+wearing%2C+I+promise+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Sarah+Neal%29.

Sarah Neal

This is what I was wearing when I was sexually assaulted. It doesn’t matter what you were wearing, I promise (Photo courtesy of Sarah Neal).

“The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” An Updated Definition of Rape, 

The United States Department of Justice Archives 

Rape is no longer confined to the act of non-consensual sex. It’s now defined as anything sexual, whether that be oral, anal, or vaginal, that is non-consensual. 

One in nine girls under the age of 18 has experienced sexual abuse, assault, or rape at the hands of an adult. One in nine. If you take the average class size at Brashier Middle College, that means at least one girl has or will be sexually assaulted by the time she turns 18. Females between the ages of 16-19 are four times more likely to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. Anyone can be assaulted. In fact,  one in fifty-three boys is assaulted before adulthood. 

“I was 15 when it happened. I gave consent at first but then I took it back. I didn’t realize what had happened until a few months later when I started developing PTSD and having flashbacks. It was like, every time I closed my eyes I saw him, and whenever I thought about him or what had happened I threw up,” said Anonymous 2.

This is not an article about girls being sexually assaulted, this is an article about sexual assault and what to look out for. 

“It was my boyfriend who did it. I just assumed that you were supposed to hate it at first and over time you would like it, but I didn’t. It happened almost every time we were together. It didn’t matter what I was wearing,” Anonymous person 1 told the Bengal Beat. 

According to RAINN, 93% of victims are assaulted by someone they know. Most people are assaulted by people they trust, like significant others, friends, or even family members. Assault and rape is anything sexual that happens without the consent of the victim. Consent is not valid or given if the victim is hesitant, under the influence, and does not respond well, or if they seem uncomfortable. If consent is taken back, then the action turns into assault or rape. 

“I can’t be alone with a guy in a car now, even if it’s a friend. My anxiety just goes through the roof because I have flashbacks from when it happened,” Anonymous 1 added.

Victims of sexual assault or rape are four times more likely to experience PTSD and symptoms of drug abuse as adults than a non-victim. It’s also three times more likely that victims will experience severe depressive episodes. 

“I always have my guard up. Whether it’s when I walk through a parking lot or when letting romantic interests in my life. I can’t be with someone I’ve been talking to alone. Being around men by myself, in general, makes me uncomfortable,” said Anonymous 3.

There are many things people do in order to stay safe when they’re alone. A lot of people work nights and have to walk to their car in the dark. They will quickly walk to their car, check the back seat, and lock their doors as soon as they get in. Most people purchase pepper spray or a close-range taser as a way to protect themselves.

There are so many things that people have to do or avoid doing because of the fear of sexual assault. Why should it be the victim’s responsibility to not be assaulted?