Something to Think About . . .

Sexual Misconduct - The Abused

Victim Facts:
1 out 6 American women has been abused
One in thirty-three men have been abuse
Every 2 minutes, another American is abused

93% know their abusers
80% are under 30 years of age
58% were abused by acquaintances
44% are under age 18
34% were abused by family members
29% are ages 12-17
15% of victims are under age 12
7% were strangers to the victim

The abused do not tell anyone because they think:
     it was nobody else's business
     it wasn't serious or wrong
     they don't want their abuser to get into trouble
     they don't want to get in trouble
     didn't want their friends to know
     the offender will kill or hurt them or their family
     none would trust their story

The abused often feel:
     Afraid, ashamed, angry, depressed, and lonely

     Guilt when they know their abuser
     Wanting to hurt yourself or someone else
     Feeling helpless to avoid the abuse
     Feeling bad about yourself or your body
     Intimacy is wrong

Dating or being sexually involved with someone does not give that person the right to force you to have sex when don't want to. You are also allowed to change your mind at any time. Being sexually assaulted is never your fault.

Most victims are assaulted by someone they know: a friend, date, acquaintance, boyfriend or girlfriend, family member, or neighbor. Sometimes people will use manipulation to get someone to give into sex. They might say things such as "If you really loved me, you'd do it" or "I'm going to tell everyone we did it anyway, so you might as well" or a form of "Grooming", the use of gifts or money to convince you to do what the abuser wants you to.

The abused are frequently vulnerable, those who want attention, have a need to look up to some else, lonely, isolated, or have low self-esteem. People in poverty and the needy can also fall victim to abusers, who pretend to help them. All of this is truer for children of poor or broken homes.

Being a victim of sexual assault is not your fault. Nothing in what you say, the way you look, where you are, or who you are was the cause of your abuse. Victims can be males or females of any age, race, social class, appearance, or sexual orientation.