Sexual Assault Awareness

Sexual assault is a very serious issue that affects the lives of many and it is always necessary to be aware of it and learn how to defend yourself when you’re assaulted. Also, when witnessing a friend or even a stranger being sexually assaulted, it’s always good to know who to call or how to help.

“A survey conducted by the American Association of University Women(AAUW 2002) on 2064 students in 8th through 11th grade: 83% of girls have been sexually harassed, 78% of boys have been sexually harassed, 38% of the students were harassed by teachers or school employees, 36% of school employees or teachers were harassed by students, and 42% of school employees or teachers had been harassed by each other.”

Be Aware of the Environment You’re In

Whether at a party or a small gathering with friends, sexual assault can take place anywhere. Being aware of your surroundings and the people that are in the type of environment you are in is very important. Take caution wherever you allow yourself to be, at all times. Also, if you feel like you’re being pressured by your friends to be somewhere, do not give in to it. If you know that you shouldn’t be there then don’t put yourself there.

Phone Availability

Having your cellphone available at all times is very important. Never have it out of your sight. When experiencing or witnessing sexual assault, being able to call the police could help save you or someone else. Keeping an electronic device nearby can prevent or stop sexual assault from happening.

The sexual assault hotline: 800.656.HOPE

Group Yourself

Never stay alone. It’s important to surround yourself with other people so it’s less likely for a predator to prey on you. Being alone is putting yourself at a higher risk of being preyed on. If you go somewhere alone, the best idea is for you to go back home or call up a friend to accompany you. If you find a friend is being harassed, start a conversation immediately or call authorities to come and help you and your friend.

Defending Yourself

Carry some sort of defense mechanism – whether it is pepper spray, a switch blade, a taser, or a set of skills involving the ability to defend yourself using your hands. There are also verbal ways to defend yourself. Screaming for help is important, especially if you’re in a place with a lot of people or people nearby. Calling out for help attracts a lot of attention and could potentially save your life.

Effects of Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a traumatic experience for anyone who experiences it. The emotional effects of sexual assault are usually anger, fear, humiliation, shame, guilt, violation, and a sense of weakness. Mental effects can include anxiety, depression, PTSD, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts. Physical effects can include increased stress levels, headaches, fatigue, and sleep and eating disturbances.

There are many different ways to describe sexual assault and it occurs in many forms. If you have experienced it, it is never the victim’s fault. No matter what you say, no matter what you wear, it’s not your fault.

Reach out for help. Use your voice. Speak out against sexual assault.

Helpful Resources

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network

800-656-HOPE (4673)

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

Safe Horizon’s Rape, Sexual Assault & Incest Hotline
Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-621-HOPE (4673)
Crime Victims Hotline: 866-689-HELP (4357)
Rape, Sexual Assault & Incest Hotline: 212-227-3000
TDD phone number for all hotlines: 866-604-5350
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

(310) 855-HOPE (4673)
(800) TLC-TEEN (852-8336) (U.S. and Canada only)
Or text TEEN to 839863
6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Pacific Time, every night


Call or text 919-231-4525 or 1-877-235-4525

Crisis Call Center
800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

National Suicide Hotline
800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
800-442-HOPE (4673)
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
800-273-TALK (8255)
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

American Pregnancy Helpline
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

Baby Safe Haven
Confidential toll free hotline: 888-510-BABY (2229)
Safe Haven Infant Protection Laws enable a person to give up an unwanted infant anonymously. As long as the baby has not been abused, the person may do so without fear of arrest or prosecution.
State finder map:

National Institute of Mental Health Information Center
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday

National Mental Health Association Hotline
800-273-TALK (8255)
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

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