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College-Age Women Are Targets for Sexual Assault

By HERWriter
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Sexual assault hurts victims not only physically but mentally. April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and the number of women all over the world who are affected by sexual assault is unacceptable.

Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is a victim of sexual assault, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). Also, "college-age women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted."

It has been a trend to report on sexual assaults that occur on college campuses, and one nationwide report by the National Union of Students (NUS) found that "one in seven survey respondents has experienced a serious physical or sexual assault during their time as a student."

This is 14 percent of students. However, a separate table shows 7 percent of students experienced serious sexual assault and 11 percent of student experienced serious physical violence.

Also, 68 percent of students "have been subject to verbal or physical sexual harassment." Sixteen percent of students have experienced unwanted sexual contact, like kissing, touching or molesting, most of which happened in public.

In the foreword of the study, Olivia Bailey, the NUS National Women's Officer, said that the study focused on women ages 18 to 25 because they are more prone to suffer from experiences with domestic violence.

Reporting levels are still low as well. For example, 43 percent of victims of sexual assault told no one about their experience.

Just by looking at these results, it is apparent that sexual assault or harassment affects many women. There are also apparent psychological effects, which can be seen in reasons for why women don't report when they've been assaulted.

Many felt guilt, embarrassment and shame for physical and sexual violence and stalking. In some negative experiences with police, the victims reported that the police made them feel at fault, even suggesting what they were wearing could have caused the assault.

These circumstances, especially feeling at blame for something horrible that happened to oneself, can be challenging for the mind and emotions.

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Like everything else education would go far. Mid to late highschool would do wonders to cut down those percentages. Mostly fear. Young men should be informed of a woman's rights and the consequences of violating them. If you were to poll college males they probably don't know the laws and what they cover unless they are a law student. To some that will go in one ear and out the other. They should be further informed that its not just a one way road. Women can sexually assault a male and to grab the attention of the young and dumb testosterone amped male teenager, males can sexually assault other males. That would put it in perspective to the dense ones.
As for educating the females. They need to be taught how to communicate. Yes. No. Leave. To stay away from frats and be responsible when you drink.
Best analogy that can be applied to this. Your car gets hit, not at all your fault, but your premium goes up just because you were there. You are in control of where you are and what you do to your body.

July 4, 2010 - 6:54am
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you

May 23, 2010 - 9:33pm
EmpowHER Guest

Creating a single category for "sexual assault and harrasment" is completely inappropriate. By putting unwanted touching and rape in the same category you trivialize rape while simultaneously contributing to the anti-sex panic currently sweeping law enforcement, parts of the women's movement, and the media. That's how ridiculously high rates of sexual assault are created.
This is NOT helpful for anyone.

April 1, 2010 - 5:00pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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