Sexual Violence

 

Everyone has the right to be in relationships (family, friends, work, intimate partner) that are safe and respectful. We want the CSB/SJU communities to be:

  • Communities with healthy, caring sexual attitudes and practices.
  • Cultures that reflect civility, respect, and non-violence.
  • Communities that conceptualize sexual activity as an individual choice, where yes or no is a respected response.
  • Communities that understand sexual activity between two people needs to be mutually consensual without the influence of alcohol or other drugs or the presence of pressure, force, threat, manipulation or intimidation.
  • Communities that are ready, willing, and able to intervene in high risk situations.
  • Communities that support victims and work to understand how sexual assault happens here. 
Sex is not a THING that is given or gotten.
 
Sex is an intimate activity freely engaged in by willing participants without the undue influence of alcohol, control, manipulation, or threat.
 
sexual violence
Facts about sexual violence

O    Most (80 to 90%) sexual assault victims are assaulted by someone they know.

O    Most people tell the truth about sexual assault.    Only 2% to 8% are false reports - same rate as most other felony crimes.

O    Sexual Assault is an act of violence, sex is weapon.

O    Most people don't commit sexual assault, but the few that do, commit multiple sexual assaults as well as other assaults.

O    Majority of perpetrators remain undetected in our community - they are not caught.

O    Sexual violence affects everyone.

O    Sexual violence can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time. 

Consequences

Physical

  • More than 32,000 pregnancies result from rape every year (Holmes et al., 1996)
  • Some long-term consequences include (Jewkes, Sen, Garcia-Moreno, 2002):
    • Chronic pelvic pain
    • Premenstrual syndrome
    • Gastrointestinal disorders
    • Gynecological and pregnancy complications
    • Migraines and other frequent headaches
    • Back pain
    • Facial pain
    • Disability that prevents work

Psychological

Victims of sexual violence face both immediate and chronic psychological consequences (Felitti et al., 1998; Yuan, Koss, Stone 2006).

Immediate psychological consequences include:

  • Shock
  • Denial
  • Fear
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Withdrawal
  • Guilt
  • Nervousness
  • Distrust of others
  • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Emotional detachment
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Flashbacks
    • Mental replay of assault

Chronic psychological consequences include:

  • Depression
  • Attempted or completed suicide
  • Alienation
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms

Social

Sexual violence also has social impacts on its victims, such as (Clements at al., 2004; Golding, Wilsnack, Cooper, 2002):

  • Strained relationships with the victim's family, friends, and intimate partners
  • Less emotional support from friends and family
  • Less frequent contact with friends and relatives
  • Lower likelihood of marriage

Health Behaviors

Some researchers view the following health behaviors as both consequences of sexual violence and factors that increase a person's vulnerability to being victimized again in the future (Brener et al., 1999; Lang et al., 2003).

  • Engaging in high-risk sexual behavior including:
    • Unprotected sex
    • Early sexual initiation
    • Choosing unhealthy sexual partners
    • Having multiple sex partners
    • Trading sex for food, money, or other items
  • Using harmful substances
    • Smoking cigarettes
    • Drinking alcohol
    • Drinking alcohol and driving
    • Taking drugs
  • Unhealthy diet-related behaviors
    • Fasting
    • Vomiting
    • Abusing diet pills
    • Overeating

(Basile et al., 2006; Champion et al., 2004; Jewkes, Sen, Garcia-Moreno, 2002; Raj, Silverman, Amaro, 2000)