Sexual Assault Awareness: An Important Subject that Impacts EVERYONE

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). However, it’s more than a monthly theme or acronym; it’s a public health problem involving millions of children and adults in the United States. Various statistics and studies report:

  • One in five women and one in 59 men have been raped in their lifetime – most victims experiencing sexual violence before age 25.
  • On college campuses, one five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted during their time in college.
  • With children, one in six boys and one in four girls will experience a sexual assault before age 18.

What Can You Do?
There is support and help! The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is an organization that provides resources and research findings to help make the world safer and healthier.

NSVRC provides practical information on understanding sexual violence and ways which everyone can help increase prevention. For example, sexual violence is defined as any type of unwanted sexual contact, ranging from sexist attitudes and actions to rape and murder. Sexual violence can include words and actions of a sexual nature against a person’s will.

Individuals can help play a role in creating a safe environment by:

  • Intervening to stop problematic and disrespectful behavior
  • Promoting and modeling healthy attitudes, behaviors, and relationships
  • Believing survivors and assist them in finding resources

The Teal Ribbon

The teal ribbon represents SAAM. Get involved by becoming informed and prepared to help yourself and/or others. In crisis situation, contact 1-800-656-4673 or find more information at www.nsvrc.org.

Sexual Assault and Health Care

Sexual assault victims can suffer from short-term or long-term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and possibly need increased health care.5 Although victim services are often offered by the community, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) can help with health care coverage options, including mental health visits. For benefits, call the customer service number on the back of your BCBSTX member ID card or use the Provider Finder® to find a provider in your area.

Sexual assault is a public health issue. Get better informed with NSVRC resources and health care coverage options.

REFERENCES:

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/features/sexualviolence/
  2. Krebs, C. P., Lindquist, C. H., Warner, T. D., Fisher, B. S., & Martin, S. L. (2007) The Campus Sexual Assault (CSA) Study (NCJ 221153). Retrieved from the     National Criminal Justice Reference Service: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/221153.pdf
  3. Dube, S. R., Anda, R. F., Whitfield, C.L., Brown, D. W., Felitti, V. J., Dong, M., & Giles, W. H. (2005). Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender  of victim. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28, 430–438. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2005.01.015
  4. http://www.nsvrc.org/about/national-sexual-violence-resource-center
  5. http://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/publications_nsvrc_factsheet_media-packet_statistics-about-sexual-violence_0.pdf
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