Assault Isn’t Always Sexual

African American girl woman teen

Photo: CreateHerStock

Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Sadly enough, only six out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison. And six times out of 10, the assaulter is someone the victim knows. Statistics show that assault has decreased over the years, but the amount of victims speaking up about their abuse with their attackers appears to be at an all-time high.

With the ability to connect through social media by using #MeToo, over 4.7 million people on Facebook alone, shared how often our family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances, particularly women, are victimized by men. The viral hashtag was in the response to the public being made aware of the sexual assault and harassment that has taken place in the entertainment and sports industries, politics and academia. Hollywood executive, Harvey Weinstein, and Roy Moore, politician and Alabama Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, are just a couple of high-profile names who have assaulted a list of women over time.

Admirably, many women and some men are speaking up about the sexual assault they have experienced, however, it’s important to note that sexual assault isn’t the only form of assault that affects victims.

Physical assault does include being a victim of sexual assault, but it also iincludes when a person asserts physical control over another person that can lead to physical or mental injuries, unwanted pregnancy or even death. And likely, a person experiencing physical assault may already be a victim of verbal abuse.

Verbal abuse mainly comes out as a way of negatively defining the victim in a way of blaming, name-calling or shaming. This type of abuse happens quite often when a victim decides to come forward and share their story but instead is sometimes silenced, because they are talked into feeling no one will believe them or is asked if the situation really happened, and if it did, is it worth “ruining someone’s (namely their assaulter) life?”

For those who do speak up, they are sometimes…