Sexual assault is an act where one is being coerced or tricked into having sex or engaging in sexual activities when you don't want to do so. It's a form of violence involving sex and covers the range of undesirable and abnormal sexual behavior exhibited by the perpetrators, who can be strangers or individuals you know.
Being assaulted doesn't make it your fault; you are not at fault; it is bad and inhuman for someone to coerce you into having sex or make you do any sexual activity that you aren't comfortable with and haven't consented with.
The emotional trauma that occurs when sexual assault occurs is damaging. Still, you would be glad to know that varieties of support services would help you move forward and improve above the experience. This is because people react to trauma differently, like having panic attacks, PTSD, and flashbacks, which require help to get past it.
Types of Sexual Assault
There are different types of sexual assault faced by people of different statuses in society. Listed below are a few of the types of sexual assault:
- Child Sexual Abuse: This type of sexual abuse involves an adult sexually abusing a child to achieve sexual satisfaction. Ways by which a child is sexually abused are coercing a child to engage in sexual activity, exposing genitals publicly to the child, having contact with the child's genitals, and so on. The effect sexual abuse has on a child is more compelling than in adults; the trauma can become part of them if not treated. Some of the effects it has on them are;
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Physical Scar
and many more that becomes the aftermath of the sexual assault. Studies show that the damage it does to one psychology is so severe, especially when it's committed by parents or relatives, known as incest.
- Aged Persons Sexually Assaulted:statistics show that about 30% of aged persons are assaulted and report to the police; the perpetrators are mostly strangers, adults, spouses, neighbors, and caretakers. It's hurtful to think how bizarre sexual behavior can be. The effect makes the aged persons fear their safety and even reduces their life span due to panic attacks.
- Rape: rape is a form of sexual activity involving penetration by perpetrators against an individual forcefully without their consent. It's mostly used interchangeably with sexual assault, but it mostly depends on the jurisdiction and how it is defined. Rape is carried out by a range of people like an ex-boyfriend, partner, co-worker, or stranger. The number of rape victims is enormous in hospital reports, and it shows that male victim trauma is more terrible because most of them must have been held captive for a long time.
- Sexual Harassment:Sexual harassment is a form of oppression, being a bully or being forceful in a sexual nature on an individual. It is also known as an unpleasant or improper, or unethical promise of rewards to be please sexually. The legal world definition of sexual harassment is quite broad and features even its slight blink on any individual. Sexual harassment features a vast span of behaviors, from evidently moderate transgressions to serious sexual abuse. Definition of Sexual harassment at times collide with sexual assault, but it's a form of sexual assault.
What to do if you've been assaulted sexually
When sexually assaulted by any person, you should always note that it isn't your fault and not holds back to take a step into recovery and seeking justice. Listed below are the things you can do;
- Safety:ensure that you're safe from any other form of recurrent occurrence, maybe due to the person that was the perpetrator of the assault; you can contact an emergency service and get to a safe place to avoid re-victimization.
- Communicating with someone: Going through such trauma is never advisable because getting support and recovering is very important to your mental health. Talk to someone, maybe a family member, a friend, professional, or a counselor, where you will receive good care and treat that trauma away.
- 3. Medical Help: getting medical care is crucial if you've been sexually harassed. You can go to a health care center to check if any form of infection has been passed or the release of sperm into the vagina for the ladies.
- Contact the Police: this might be a hard decision, but to seek justice for what has been done, you would need to. This is the right decision, no matter who is involved; as far as your safety and mental health are in danger of recurrent occurrence, you need to report it to the police to shield yourself from potential re-victimization. If you are not okay going alone, you can take someone else to support you through the process.
Preventive Measures Against Rape
Rapists have become rampant these days, having no respect for age, Status in society, gender, or race. This makes it essential to avoid it from ever happening, and you need to protect yourself from such.
- Change the keylocks when you move into a new place, and put a door viewer, where you can see who is at the door before opening.
- Keep the door locked at all times and lay down instructions for the children not to open the door for anybody.
- Request for identification when a stranger shows up, and confirm from the business place if he works there.
- Always secure your home and your car also. Keep the doors and window locked and make sure the lock is effective.
- If a situation or area becomes unsafe and makes you uncomfortable, you can flee from that area or scream for help just to attract attention. And when you feel you are being followed, you can go to the nearest police station or any authorized personnel to make a report.
- You can use active or passive means to remove yourself from that situation; active means using a weapon, like pepper spray, keys, or shoes to startle or hit your attacker. The passive means is done by you communicating your way out of the situation. And always think of alternative solutions, like the fastest root of escape or a place of gathering
- Always avoid taking shortcuts like dark alleys, bush paths. Always walk amidst a crowd.
- If in your car you sense trouble, you should raise the car windows high and call for help. Never pick up a stranger. And before entering your car, you should exam the whole car, including the booth, to avoid any surprises.
- For children, never let them walk alone or stay alone in an open house. If there is a babysitter, she should call the local police if any suspicious activity is going on.