Presentation on theme: "HOW SEXUAL VIOLENCE CAN IMPACT OUR LIVES. Abuse Counseling & Treatment, Inc. ACT’s mission is to protect, support, and educate victims of domestic violence."— Presentation transcript:
HOW SEXUAL VIOLENCE CAN IMPACT OUR LIVES
Abuse Counseling & Treatment, Inc. ACT’s mission is to protect, support, and educate victims of domestic violence and their children and survivors of sexual violence and their families in Lee, Hendry and Glades counties. About our Rape Crisis Center About our Services Mandatory Reporting and confidentiality 24 hour hotline:
Group Rules Keep Confidentiality Treat yourself and others with respect ◦ Discussion encouraged: cross talking and note- writing is not. Share information about yourself only during group. Everyone has the right to express their opinion regardless of whether we agree with them or not.
What will we learn today? Definitions of sexual violence and rape Prevalence of rape Dispelling the Myths Symptoms of survivors Survivor mechanisms (healthy vs. unhealthy) Risk Reduction What can we do (discussion)
DEFINITIONS What is Rape? Rape is an It is a crime of violence that uses sex as a weapon. Florida Statute refers to rape as sexual battery, stating: "Sexual battery is the oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object." Consent cannot be given by anyone who is physically helpless, mentally impaired, or under the influence of narcotics or other intoxicating substances.
What are other kinds of sexual violence?
We cannot change what we don’t know about! What’s really going on?
PREVALENCE Sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes, with 60% still being left unreported. Males are the least likely to report a sexual assault, though they make up about 10% of all victims. Approximately 2/3 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim. 73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger. 38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance. 28% are an intimate. 7% are a relative.
Victims of sexual assault are: 3 3 times more likely to suffer from depression. 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol. 26 times more likely to abuse drugs. 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide. 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. About 3% of American men — or 1 in 33 — have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
What Kind of a Problem is Sexual Violence? What Kind of a Problem is Sexual Violence? Public Health Problem ( large scale problem that has a wide effect) Violation of Human Rights (Violates the right to control their own bodies) Profoundly traumatic personal experience (impacting every aspect of survivor’s lives) HOW?
Rape effects more than the survivor Individual RelationshipCommunitySociety
THE COSTS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE The Costs of Sexual Violence Impacts us All Individuals - Inability/loss of friendships and romantic relationships, depression, sexual dysfunction, hospitalization, suicide disability, lower level of functioning Relationships – Divorce, separation, psychological effects impacting the relationship, loss of income Society – health care costs to government, individuals and insurance companies, loss of income, in and outpatient psychiatric costs, lost days of work, jail and court costs, loss of productivity and disability cost.
Rape Myths Rape Myths No really means yes. Rape, sexual abuse, or incest is just a way of life for women in some cultures. Women love to be swept off their feet and be taken by force. She was “asking for it” Real men don’t get raped Most rapes are by strangers You can tell who “wants it” by the way they are dressed It’s no big deal, it’s just sex WHAT OTHERS CAN YOU THINK OF?
Our society has done a fantastic job of teaching the rape survivor to blame herself/himself for another person’s violence.
Rape is NEVER the victim’s fault! Rape is an act of violence and aggression and is usually about power and control over another person. Sex is the weapon! Sometimes people make poor safety choices…. That does not give someone else the right to hurt them! VIOLENCE IS ALWAYS A CHOICE
The victim’s only goal is to survive. Sometimes cooperation is required for survival. The victim’s only goal is to survive. Sometimes cooperation is required for survival. Cooperation to survive does NOT equal consent CONSENT VS. COOPERATION Consent: Equal power, both people agree to be there, either can leave or choose not to participate in certain sexual acts. Cooperation: Doing as you are told to avoid consequences. Victim believes her/his life/physical well-being is in grave danger. This belief may/may not come from spoken threats, but the implied threat of what may come next. Often if a victim cooperates it is not viewed as rape, such as the use of a condom, telling attacker what he/she wants to hear, etc. Example of Cooperation vs. Consent A man walks into a bank and slides a note to a bank teller that says, "give me all your money, or else". The teller cooperates with him by giving him all the money in her drawer, even though there is no visible weapon, and no verbal threats have been spoken. Does this mean that the teller/bank wasn’t robbed? Does this mean that the teller conspired with the bank robber to rob the bank?
UNIQUENESS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE AS A CRIMINAL VIOLATION The violation of “self” that causes trauma in crime victims is a subjective injury, unique to each individual. The majority of victims are in fear for their life, even if they know the assailant. The crime is often intended to be as degrading and dehumanizing as possible, and that has a lasting negative effect. Due to the nature of the trauma, most survivors will remember more about the attack next week, next month….etc. It is the only crime in which consent and degree of resistance are issues.
In most other crimes, no one asks… What were you wearing? Why did you go there, get in the car, leave your window open, etc.? Did you scream, yell, fight back? Were you drinking/drugs? Did you know the person? Are you sure that’s what happened?
TWO MOST COMMON RESPONSES IMMEDIALEY FOLLOWING RAPE Expressed demonstrating anger, fear, and anxiety through restlessness, crying or sobbing, tense posture and other signs such as hand wringing, and seemingly inappropriate smiling or laughing. Inappropriate laughter or smiling is common…it is an automatic response to trauma. Controlled hiding or masking feelings. Exterior pose is calm, composed or subdued. Survivor may appear very deliberate in every action. Someone has just had complete control of their body…their main goal is to regain control. This survivor mechanism may “look” as if the rape was “no big deal”. EITHER ONE OF THESE REACTIONS CAN CONFUSE THOSE TRYING TO HELP INCLUDING FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
Symptoms of Survivors (both female and male) Nightmares / sleep disturbances Substance Abuse Panic Attacks Irritability/Anger Difficulty Concentrating and focusing Impaired memory/Memory loss Sexual dysfunction Phobic / Compulsive behaviors Hyper-vigilance (always being “on your guard” Exaggerated “startle response” Depression
Disassociation (zoning out) Anorexia / Bulimia / Overeating (Eating disorders) “Cutting” / Self-mutilation Anger: distance = safety Difficulty with relationships- triggers Flashbacks Promiscuity, Risky behavior/poor safety choices Distorted Thinking patterns to regain control Engage in sex very soon after rape Don’t want sex, be uncomfortable with sex (even with someone they trust)
Orgasm during rape – guilt – confusion – sexual identity issues Extreme independence/isolation Triggers / Sights, sounds, smells, feelings: Re-experiencing sensations, feelings from the assault Doubt one’s own judgment, feel responsible Feeling dirty, humiliated, devalued Self-blame and shame ◦ Based on misconceptions about rape ◦ Numbing/Apathy (detachment, loss of caring) Social Withdrawal Restricted affect (inability to express emotions) Loss of security, trust in others and the world Suicidal ideation
Drug Facilitated Rape
Is alcohol a date rape drug? Any drug that can affect judgment and behavior can put a person at risk for unwanted or risky sexual activity. Alcohol is one such drug. In fact, alcohol is the drug most commonly used to help commit sexual assault. When a person drinks too much alcohol: It's harder to think clearly. It's harder to set limits and make good choices. It's harder to tell when a situation could be dangerous. It's harder to say "no" to sexual advances. It's harder to fight back if a sexual assault occurs. It's possible to blackout and to have memory loss.
ROHYPNOL a.k.a. “roofies” Rohypnol (roh-HIP-nol). Rohypnol is the trade name for flunitrazepam (FLOO-neye-TRAZ- uh-pam). Abuse of two similar drugs appears to have replaced Rohypnol abuse in some parts of the United States. These are: clonazepam (marketed as Klonopin in the U.S.and Rivotril in Mexico) and alprazolam (marketed as Xanax). Rohypnol Rohypnol is times stronger than Valium. Muscle relaxation or loss of muscle control Difficulty with motor movements Drunk feeling Problems talking Nausea Can't remember what happened while drugged Loss of consciousness (black out) Confusion Loss of consciousness (black out) Confusion Problems seeing Dizziness Sleepiness Lower blood pressure Stomach problems Death
GHB - GAMMA HYDROXY BUTYRATE GHB is a central nervous system depressant that is illegally manufactured in the U.S. GHB is a clear liquid or a sticky white powder. GHB can be tasteless, odorless, colorless, but more often has a slight tinge of brown or yellow and can make a drink taste slightly metallic. Effects include: - feelings of extreme intoxication - nausea and dizziness - vomiting - intense drowsiness - tremors - unsteady balance and slurred speech -antereograde amnesia (memory loss for events following ingestion) -Problems seeing -Loss of consciousness (black out) - Seizures Problems breathing -Tremors -sweating -Vomiting -Slow heart rate -Dream-like feeling -Coma -Death
ECSTASY While not classified as a “date rape drug”, many survivors were raped while using ecstasy. Psychological difficulties: Confusion Depression Sleep problems Severe anxiety Paranoia (during & sometimes weeks after use) Physical Symptoms: Muscle tensionInvoluntary teeth clenching NauseaFaintness Blurred visionRapid eye movement Chills or sweatingRash that looks like acne
SUBSTANCE ABUSING SURVIVORS 75% of men and 55% of women involved in acquaintance rapes reported using alcohol or other drugs prior to the incident. As a result… AUTOMATICALLY DISTRUSTFUL OF LAW ENFORCEMENT BECAUSE OF THEIR DRUG/ALCOHOL USE. MORE LIKELY TO LIE ABOUT DRUG USE SUBSTANCE ABUSERS ARE MORE LIKELY TO END UP IN SITUATIONS “OUT OF THEIR CONTROL” ◦ STRANGE PEOPLE ◦ STRANGE PLACEs ◦ UNSUBSTANTIATED TRUST IN INDIVIDUALS MANY PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY THOSE USING SUBSTANCES, MAY MAKE POOR SAFETY CHOICES. REGARDLESS OF THE SITUATION AND THE SUBSTANCE USE, NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED.
These symptoms are the most common ones as reported by researchers, therapists, and victims. Rarely anyone will have all of the symptoms, and some may have very few, but the fact remains, the after effects do not usually go away with time, they worsen until something is done about them.
SEXUAL ASSAULT RISK REDUCTION TIPS KNOW YOUR LIMITS AND BELIEVE IN YOUR LIMITS. IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS, STOP AND TALK ABOUT IT. Communicate your limits clearly. Tell them quickly, firmly, and clearly. Polite approaches may be ignored or misunderstood. Say "No" when you mean "No.” Talk with each other. Communication is the key to a good relationship. Don't assume your date will know how you feel or will eventually get the message.
Be aware of (your date's) actions. Pay attention to behaviors that are not respectful of you. Even the simple things --like put-downs, making all the decisions, or constantly teaching you. This may mean he does not respect your decisions or boundaries. Make a scene if you feel threatened. Trust your intuition. If you feel you are being pressured, say so. Don't worry about a few minutes of embarrassment or awkwardness. They will pass. Stick with your friends at parties or get-togethers. Use the "buddy system." Avoid using alcohol or other drugs. They interfere with your ability to think, act, or communicate clearly.
LOOK FOR WARNING SIGNS ignores your personal boundaries does not listen to what you say is jealous and possessive of you and your time gets upset when you don't do what they want tries to make you feel guilty to get their way is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs pressures you to do alcohol or drugs insists you go some place alone or apart from others accuses you of being tight or frigid when you say "no"
IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE BEING PRESSURED... Try to stay calm. It's easier to think that way. Be assertive. Clearly say that you are uncomfortable and want to leave or want the behavior to stop. If possible, look for ways to escape. If it doesn't work, resist as long as it is safe for you to do so. If it is too dangerous to, stop. Submission does not mean consent. Don't worry about being nice or hurting the other person's feelings -- think about your safety.
What are some ways our society either ignores or promotes sexual violence?
1. ______________________________________________________________________ What impact does that have on us as individual and our relationships? ______________________________________________________________________ 2.______________________________________________________________________ What impact does that have on us as individual and our relationships? ______________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ 3.._______________________________________________________________________ What impact does that have on us as individuals and our relationships? ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________
What are some Things I can do to reduce Sexual Violence in my community?
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP REDUCE SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN OUR COMMUNITY? 1. ______________________________________________________________________ What impact does that have on us as an individual, our relationships and our community? ______________________________________________________________________ 2.______________________________________________________________________ What impact does that have on us as an individual, our relationships and our community ? ____________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ 3.._______________________________________________________________________ What impact does that have on us as an individual, our relationships and our community?____________________________________________________________________________________
If you are hurting, we are here for you. ABUSE COUNSELIING & TREATMENT, INC (24-hr hotline) (Administration) Services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL for survivors of domestic and sexual violence
REFERENCES U.S. Department of Justice.2005 National Crime Victimization Study National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey World Health Organization All Psych Journal, Survivors of Sexual Abuse: The Gift of Empowerment, Christopher L. Heffner, Psy.D. May 15, 2002 Information provided by the Greater New Haven Sexual Assault Crisis Services at The Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis, 131 Dwight St. New Haven, CT Gift From Within An International Organization for Survivors of Trauma and Victimizationwww.giftfromwithin.org Dart Foundation To read Voices of Courage: Inspiration from Survivors of Sexual Assault, download the eBook.Voices of Courage: Inspiration from Survivors of Sexual Assault CDC Sexual Violence Fact Sheet
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