Presentation on theme: "Understanding Sexual Assault Michelle Lenzi, Educator Rape Crisis Service of PPRSR 585.546.2771 ext. 317 24 hr. hotline: 546.2777."— Presentation transcript:
Understanding Sexual Assault Michelle Lenzi, Educator Rape Crisis Service of PPRSR 585.546.2771 ext. 317 firstname.lastname@example.org 24 hr. hotline: 546.2777
Rape Crisis Service of PPRSR Provides Crisis Intervention and Support Assistance and Support Through Medical Treatment Accompaniment within the criminal justice system Information and Referrals Short term Counseling Community and Professional Education Programs
Definition of Sexual Assault Any forced non-consenting sexual act. This includes: rape, sodomy, child sexual abuse, incest or unwanted touching, grabbing over or under clothing, sexual harassment, stalking, flashing, voyeurism. It is about power and control-not about sex
Sexual Assault A victim can be *female *male *child Sexual Assault does not discriminate. It happens across the board and can happen to anyone at anytime. No one is immune.
Sexual Assault occurs in the U.S. once every 10 minutes False - occurs once every 2 minutes
85% of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows 15% of sexual assaults are committed by strangers.
Less than 1/3 of rape victims report to the police WHY?
Reality of Acquaintance Rape The sexual assault is committed by someone the victim knows. One individual forces, coerces, or manipulates another individual he or she knows to have sexual intercourse without consent. It is the most common type and the one least understood.
Victims of Sexual Assault Experience a Variety of Emotions, Including: Fear Anger Guilt Shame Powerlessness
Fear Victims of sexual assault may struggle with fears regarding: Reprisal or revictimization Anticipated response of the community and loved ones The criminal justice system The risk of pregnancy, STI’s, and HIV The potential long term effects of the assault.
What Can We Do to Help Alleviate These Fears? Provide victims with accurate information regarding their health and safety. Assist victims in developing a safety plan Inform victims of the common reactions to sexual assault. Empower victims to utilize all of the rights and resources available to them.
Provide information on the criminal justice process and options. Provide appropriate referrals Assist the victim in identifying strengths
Anger Victims of sexual assault may struggle with feelings of anger, directed at: Themselves The perpetrator Friends Family Helping Professionals Criminal Justice System
What can we do to help with the Anger? Acknowledge that anger is a natural response to victimization Assist victims in identifying safe and healthy ways to express their anger Encourage communication between primary and secondary victims Make appropriate referrals
Guilt Victims of sexual assault may struggle with feeling of guilt regarding: Their perceived role in the assault The potential impact of the assault on their loved ones The impact of criminal prosecution on the perpetrator
What can we do to help alleviate feeling of guilt? Educate victims about common myths and facts regarding sexual assault Emphasize the fact that the perpetrator is the only person responsible for his actions Remind the victim that nobody deserves to be sexually assaulted Make appropriate referrals
Shame Victims of sexual assault may have feelings of shame related to: Discussing intimate details of the assault Disclosing any past, consensual, history with the perpetrator A fear of being judged Their choices prior to or following the assault
What Can We Do to Alleviate Feelings of Shame? Reassure the victim that we are not here to pass judgment Acknowledge the difficulty many people experience in discussing such a private topic Dispel any myths the victim may have regarding sexual assault Examine our own discomfort with discussing topics related to sexuality or victimization
Powerlessness A victim’s sense of powerlessness is often exacerbated by: Participation in the criminal justice system Seeking medical treatment Interactions with insurance or victim compensation programs The actions of even well-meaning individuals who attempt to “shield” the victim from further harm
What can we do to Empower Primary and Secondary Victims? Provide information and options Encourage victims to make their own choices Provide the support necessary for victims to do as much as possible for themselves Keep victims informed of any new developments Provide appropriate referrals
Cooperation Does Not Mean Consent Giving in is Not Consent
Sexual Assault risk reduction tips For Men: Never pressure or force another to have sex –No does not mean maybe Stay sober-if you or the other person gets drunk or stoned, don’t have sex. Speak up if you are getting a double message-if the other person cannot tell you –don’t have sex. Interrupt someone whom you see violating- verbally or physically –another’s space.
Sexual Assault risk reduction tips For Women: Communicate your limits clearly-it is your right to say “No” even if you have had sex previously with that same person Be assertive-don’t worry about being polite if someone is not respecting your wishes Be alert-drugs and alcohol impair your judgment and ability to make good decisions. Trust your instincts Always have a plan to get yourself home
If someone is sexually assaulted (have them): Obtain medical treatment for STD’s, HIV exposure, any physical injuries, pregnancy prevention and Evidence Collection (SAFE centers) Consider reporting options-police, internal college reporting, or proxy Receive short term counseling with RCS