Photo BY Cameron Conner

Sexual assault awareness should be promoted from every headline; the fact that children are being taken advantage of should weigh so heavily on the hearts and minds of our country that change is inevitable.

Predator: One that victimizes, plunders, or destroys, especially for one’s own gain.

According to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network,  Every 2 minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. Each year there are about 207,754 victims of sexual assault.  

It pains, nay, disgusts me to admit that our society is full of putrid, sadistic pigs whose sole purpose in life revolves around satisfying their increasingly sick urges.  Too vivid? Good.

If facts like these do not wake you up, what will? Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted. Every 2 minutes someone’s daughter, someone’s best friend, someone’s sister is taken advantage of. It is easy to frown, easy to say, “that’s just terrible,” but something needs to be done. It is time for our society to wake up and change these statistics. Our government can shut down due to trivial disagreements, Wall Street can rise and fall in and out of chaos again and again, yet we continue to allow these monstrous events to occur. If something isn’t done soon, then every two minutes someone else will become another statistic.

Sexual crimes in our country are nothing new to the masses; we hear about them every time we turn on the news, but the messed up thing is that we don’t even pay them any mind. We do not have the time to sympathize for the scared victims out there, or, if we do, we think about some attractive 20-something beaten into submission in the back of a white van while some Gollum lookalike forces himself upon them.

The horrendous thing is that this is not usually how it goes.

Approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. 38% of the rapists are friends or acquaintances.

Revoltingly sobering, is it not? The sad part is that 40% of victims are under the age of 18, with 80% of total victims being under 30. These are young people being assaulted, and most of the time it is by people they know. We as a people need to be aware of this. The true rapist is not some big man in an alley, sometimes it is not even a man at all. The sexual assaulter, the predator, is someone the victim knows, someone they trust. What is worse is the fact that these predators, these sadist manipulators, work their ways into the very psyche of their victims to make sure they will never tell, never resist. The sexual predator victimizes their prey, utterly breaking them emotionally until they can slither in and take what they want physically. Most victims are usually too scared, or too broken to resist.

60% of sexual assaults are not reported to police. 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail.

The sexual predators greatest weapon is fear, and their greatest ally is the blatant ignorance (or apathy) of the general public concerning the topic of sexual assault. Victims are cornered by their abusers when they least expect it, approached by someone they know and trust, and they do not even know how to say no. A victim can be too afraid that if they did tell no one would believe them or that if they ever came clean someone close to them would pay the price. Then the victim accepts the terrible fact that they are truly alone, and that suffering is their lonely burden to bear. These mostly young victims are trapped in a vicious cycle of gruesome mental and physical abuse that in actuality is too graphic for the worst rated movie. A child who is victim to prolonged sexual abuse usually develops low self esteem, a feeling of worthlessness, and a distorted view of sex. They will often become mistrustful of adults and eventually accept their abuse as “normal”. Women who are sexually assaulted or abused as a child are 2-3 times more likely to be sexually assaulted or abused later in life. If not reported or stopped relationships between the sexual predator and their victim can last for years and will leave the victim with deep mental scars and an abnormal view of sexual relationships. The victim will begin to view relationships like the one their assaulter forced on them as normal or okay and fall into the same circumstance later in life.

 Some victims are even reported to become sexual predators themselves, bringing the vicious cycle back full circle.

All these side effects could be avoided or treated if only the victims of these assaults were made aware that it is okay for them to say no, that they have people out there who will take care of them, that will help them. Our society itself needs to be aware that some of these sexual assault victims cannot get help from their parents because their parent is their abuser. We need to wake up and resolve to end sexual abuse once and for all.

I think it is time that we ask ourselves what we would do if our friends and siblings were living under this heinous abuse? Would we encourage and help them, let them know that they are not alone, that they are loved? Or would we sit there and avert our eyes for the sake of comfort?

Sexual assault awareness should be promoted from every headline; the fact that children are being taken advantage of should weigh so heavily on the hearts and minds of our country that change is inevitable.