Every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. In addition to rape and sexual coercion, other forms and behaviors of sexual assault include exhibiting chronic jealousy, accusing one's partner of affairs, having affairs, treating one's partner as a sex object and withholding sex. There are victims of some form of sexual assault in every city and every state in America today. Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual act done by one person to another. Statistics show that most abusers are men and most victims of sexual assault are women. According to The American Medical Association (AMA) “sexual assault continues to represent the most rapidly growing violent crime in America, claiming a victim every 45 seconds” and because many of these attacks go “unreported and unrecognized, sexual assault can be considered a “silent-violent epidemic” in the U.S. today” (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001537.html Sexual Assault: The Silent, Violent Epidemic, 2007). Sexual abuse frequently occurs in relationships in which other forms of abuse are also present (Ferris, Norton, Dunn, Gort and Degani, 1997). Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. Sexual assault does not happen because of race, gender, age, or wealth. These factors are not the cause. Men, women, and children are all targets and victims of this tragic crime. According to studies by RAINN: The nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization (RAINN 2008 | http://firstname.lastname@example.org) 51% of women have experienced at least one incident of sexual or physical violence, and close to 60% of these women have survived more than one incident of violence. Six out of ten victims who reported being sexually assaulted were under the age of 17. In the year 2000, women made up the vast majority (86%) of victims of sexual assault and the other types of sexual offences came in at 78%. 80 percent of sexual assaults occur at home and 49 % in broad daylight. Victimization surveys show that less than 10% of women who are sexually assaulted report the assault to the police. (Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women, 2002, Assessing Violence Against Women: A Statistical Profile, p.19) When reporting sexual assaults it is important to remember to report the attack as soon as possible. If a rape is reported, there is a 50.8% chance of an arrest with an 80% chance of prosecution, with a 58% chance of conviction. These numbers are alarming with the most alarming being that 15 out of 16 rapists walk free. Only 6% of the rapists will ever spend time in jail because of the number of unreported rapes. Whether you decide to report your attack to the police or not is your choice. While there is no way to change what happened to you, you can seek justice and help stop it from happening to someone else. Reporting to the police is the key to preventing sexual assault: every time a rapist is locked up, it helps to prevent him or her from committing another attack. It is the most effective tool that exists to prevent future rapes. In the end, though, whether or not to report is your decision to make. Victims of sexual assault need to remember that it is not their fault. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or support. Help is available. They can call these organizations: National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD), National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). There are many organizations and hotlines in every state and territory. These crisis centers and agencies work hard to stop assaults and help victims. You can find contact information for these organizations at http://www.womenshealth.gov/violence/state/. You also can obtain the numbers of shelters, counseling services, and legal assistance in your phone book. Studies done by The University of Texas at Austin Counseling & Mental Health Center show that many sexual assault survivors knew...
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