written by Nina S., a teen student at Full Potential Martial Arts
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is when you feel sexually uncomfortable. It can range from unwanted attention and rude language to inappropriate touching, physical hurting, and even rape. It can be forceful and violent or tricky and manipulative.
Who are the victims and attackers?
Victims can be anybody, but they are typically teens or young adults. The victims could be people at parties or on dates. Victims don’t have knowledge to identify what is happening. They could be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Attackers can be anybody, but they are typically teens or young adults. The attackers could be people at parties or on dates. Attackers are mostly social and outgoing people.
When does sexual assault happen?
50% of sexual assaults happen on the weekend. They usually happen at night after parties, dates, or holidays, but they can happen anytime.
Where does sexual assault take place?
Victims can be assaulted anywhere. Usually, the sexual assault takes place in private away from people. They can happen at parties, in apartments or dorms, or at the house of the victim or attacker. In fact, 50% of assaults happen in residences.
Why are people sexually assaulted?
The main reason that people are sexually assaulted is because the attackers can get away with it. Sexual assault is a severely underreported crime. Victims are too afraid or embarrassed to talk about their assaults because our society blames the victims. Bystanders also ignore the problem and don’t report assaults when they see them happening, making the problem worse.
How are people sexually assaulted?
Sexual assault can be broken down into five T’s :
During the Targeting phase, the attacker is finding victims. Some ways to avoid being chosen as a victim are staying in groups, being self-confident and assertive, and being aware of your situation and surroundings. Make sure you are alert and prepared and are not intoxicated.
During the Testing phase, the attacker is trying to find out what he or she can get away with. They might try to get you away from other people, use uncomfortable or inappropriate words and/or touching to see your reaction, get you drunk, or get in your personal space. Ways to avoid the attacker are to move away, tell them to stop, report the attacker to a friend or authority, scream, or physically push them away from you.
During the Transport phase, the attacker will try to move you to a different place. Transport can happen before or after the attack. Being transported is VERY BAD! DO NOT let it happen to you! You want to stay with other people at all times. Some ways to avoid being transported are to physically attack the attacker, scream, fight, or draw attention to you in any way possible. Drawing attention to you will bring help.
Transaction is the phase where the real physical attack happens. During this phase, you want to try to get back to help and other people and fight back physically to get the attacker away. Most sexual assaults don’t involve weapons, so fighting back will work. Don’t be afraid to fight dirty!
During the Termination phase, the attack is done and you need to get away. Get to a safe place as soon as possible. If you are severely injured, call 911. Make sure you preserve evidence of the attack by not bathing or washing your clothes. Even if you are not injured, go to see a doctor or a hospital. They can help collect evidence of the attack. Always report the attack. If you do report the attacker you can save the next victim. The after affects of sexual assault can be devastating, so make sure to get the proper physical and mental support.