Every 107 seconds in America, a person is raped. According to the “White House Council on Women and Girls, January 2014,” women and girls are statistically the vast majority of victims: nearly 1 in 5 women — or nearly 22 million — have been raped in their lifetimes. Men and boys, however, are also at risk: 1 in 71 men — or almost 1.6 million — have been raped during their lives. Young people are especially at risk: nearly half of female survivors were raped before they were 18, and over one-quarter of male survivors were raped before they were 10. College students are particularly vulnerable: 1 in 5 women has been sexually assaulted while in college.
The stigma attached to sexual violence too often keeps us from openly discussing the effects. As a result, many are unaware that the distressing behaviors of a child, partner, friend or employee are the results of a sexual assault. Secondary victims (parents, child, partners and close friends of a victim) also feel the stigma and, in the process of respecting the victim’s anonymity, they often have no outlet for their grief and concern. (Secondary victims seeking help for their own recovery and third parties who are seeking support for a victim are encouraged to call Starting Point at (800) 336-3796 to speak with an advocate.)