Breaking Through Layers of Injustice for Women
I want to start this new series with some statistical facts. I am very concerned that over the last 50 years, there is still little movement in the criminal justice system to arrest and punish those who have sexually assaulted individuals in our communities. It gives me great concern to hear the sexual assaults continue on the college campuses without much done to the offender. It saddens me that hundreds of young girls are being raped by a family member or a family friend at home. I am angry that so little is being done to address the barriers of injustice in these cases. I am beyond frustrated at those women who protect the offender from sexual assault and encourage the victim of the sexual assault to say nothing, keep it quiet, and make excuses for the sexual offender. This, too, must stop.
At the same time, those sexually assaulted continue to have profound effects that cause mental and emotional pain with little hope that the offender will be held accountable for their actions. I continue to be baffled that many rapes and incests are happening in homes across our country with little or no restitution for the victims who have had to endure this injustice for years. I continue to get angry every time I read or see a video about the number of inmates is being raped by the staff at the facility with little or no accountability or punishment for their crime. Usually, the criminal gets a slap on the hand, they may get suspended without pay for 30 days, or worst, get paid vacation for two weeks and then back on the job to continue to rape inmates. This nonsense has to stop.
I want to point my readers to "RAINN" or Rape Abuse and Incest National Network. This is the largest national anti-sexual violence organization. I am particularly impressed with this organization because of its dedication to train, inform, and counsel the public, police departments, and victims in this arena. This information is from the RAINN website. Please visit www.rainn.org
To make an actual difference, we must make sure we have laws and policies to protect women and other victims of sexual assault. The RAINN organization has a public policy program that does explore and executes new policies and regulations in every state. See below.
RAINN's policy team works at the federal and state level to improve the criminal justice system, prevent sexual assault, and ensure justice for survivors.
We help create and advocate for laws and regulations that make communities safer and support survivors.
We work closely with the Departments of Justice, Education, and Health & Human Services to improve the federal response to sexual violence.
We lead the national effort to end the rape kit backlog while collaborating with allies to promote state action.
Every 68 Seconds, an American is Sexually Assaulted.
Sexual violence affects hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. While we're making progress, even today, only 25 out of every 1,000 rapists will end up in prison.
Ages 12-34 are the highest risk years for rape and sexual assault.3
Those aged 65 and older are 92% less likely than 12-24-year-olds to be victims of rape or sexual assault and 83% less likely than 25-49-year-olds.
Millions of women in the United States have experienced rape.
As of 1998, an estimated 17.7 million American women had been victims of attempted or completed rape.5
Young women are especially at risk.
82% of all juvenile victims are female. 90% of adult rape victims are female.6
Females ages 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.3
Women ages 18-24 who are college students are three times more likely than women in general to experience sexual violence. Females of the same age who are not enrolled in college are four times more likely.
Sexual Violence Can Have Long-Term Effects on Victims
The likelihood that a person suffers suicidal or depressive thoughts increases after sexual violence.
94% of women who are raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the two weeks following the rape.9
30% of women report symptoms of PTSD 9 months after the rape.10
33% of women who are raped contemplate suicide.11
13% of women who are raped attempt suicide.11
Approximately 70% of rape or sexual assault victims experience moderate to severe distress, a more significant percentage than other violent crimes.12
People who have been sexually assaulted are more likely to use drugs than the general public.11
3.4 times more likely to use marijuana
Six times more likely to use cocaine
Ten times more likely to use other major drugs
Sexual violence also affects victims' relationships with their family, friends, and co-workers.
Legislation on Sexual Harassment in the Legislature
In 2018, there was an unprecedented rise in legislation on sexual harassment and sexual harassment policies in state legislatures. Thirty-two states introduced over 125 pieces of legislation in 2018. In 2019, 29 states trained over 100 pieces of legislation related to sexual harassment in the state legislatures. In the following years, sexual harassment continues to be an essential topic for some state legislatures. States have introduced legislation to expel members, criminalize sexual harassment in legislatures, and mandate harassment training within the legislature for legislators, legislative staff, and lobbyists, among other topics.
We will continue this new series with various experts who have been addressing the issue of the criminal act of sexual assaults and the laws and policies that hold the offenders accountable. Stay tuned for more coming information coming soon.