*EVERY 68 SECONDS AN AMERICAN IS SEXUALLY ASSAULTED*
Today I really felt strongly that I needed to write about domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is not only abuse against women or children but also men. Domestic violence isn't a pretty term, never has been, never will be. However, it is necessary to talk about.
Breaking Chains isn't just about selling products. Breaking Chains is also about helping and healing.
Here's a little bit about me. (You can also find this on the BC website) I am a Midwest girl turned West Coast girl in 2015. I grew up in a small town in Indiana with a loving mom who worked very hard and long hours to provide for myself and my brother. We were not rich by any stretch of the word but I always knew that my mom and my family loved me just as I was. Having been assaulted as a child and as a 20 something, my life changed. I began to use alcohol as a medication. After my divorce, I chose to become celibate (not as difficult as I thought it would be). I remained celibate for almost 10 years. It wasn’t until I met my current husband that I felt what love was from someone other than my family. Even though I was a high-functioning drinker it still caused a lot of problems. I turned to a 12 step program, worked with a sponsor (still do), and gained friends in the program, and even though I relapsed twice before 90 days were up I found a purpose for myself. Even with the relapses and major doubts that I had what it took to stay sober or to be lovable, I have been sober ever since and I have found love, once again.
I have been a Christian, a God-fearing woman, for many years and believe in second chances...and third, fourth and fifth chances. With God's help, I have forgiven the two people who wronged me. I have forgiven myself for allowing myself to feel unworthy. Along the path of my life, I had so many unhealthy, toxic and abusive relationships that I lost myself to respect and dignity. I am currently married to a wonderful man, Jason, who has his own demons to deal with but we love each other and we do our best to support each other. Breaking Chains was born out of the love that I learned to have for myself. The main purpose of Breaking Chains is to highlight, both, men and women who have been sexually assaulted, are in recovery or desire recovery, and who have turned themselves into SURVIVORS! I help out with a non-profit called PAVE. PAVE does a lot of good and gives great support and education to sexual assault SURVIVORS. Breaking Chains is a platform for anyone to tell their story, buy our products or simply find support.
Domestic violence is willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality, or educational background. Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.
(All of the stats to follow are from https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence)
Women and Girls Experience Sexual Violence at High Rates
Millions of women in the United States have experienced rape.
As of 1998, an estimated 17.7 million American women had been victims of attempted or completed rape.5
Young women are especially at risk.
82% of all juvenile victims are female. 90% of adult rape victims are female.6
Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.3
Women ages 18-24 who are college students are 3 times more likely than women in general to experience sexual violence. Females of the same age who are not enrolled in college are 4 times more likely.7
Read more statistics about campus sexual violence.
Men and Boys Are Also Affected by Sexual Violence
Millions of men in the United States have been victims of rape.
As of 1998, 2.78 million men in the U.S. had been victims of attempted or completed rape.5
About 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.5
1 out of every 10 rape victims is male.8
Transgender Students Are at Higher Risk for Sexual Violence
21% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students have been sexually assaulted, compared to 18% of non-TGQN females, and 4% of non-TGQN males.17
Sexual Violence Can Have Long-Term Effects on Victims
The likelihood that a person suffers suicidal or depressive thoughts increases after sexual violence.
94% of women who have raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the two weeks following the rape.9
30% of women report symptoms of PTSD 9 months after the rape.10
33% of women who are raped contemplate suicide.11
13% of women who are raped attempt suicide.11
Approximately 70% of rape or sexual assault victims experience moderate to severe distress, a larger percentage than for any other violent crime.12
People who have been sexually assaulted are more likely to use drugs than the general public.11
3.4 times more likely to use marijuana
6 times more likely to use cocaine
10 times more likely to use other major drugs
Sexual violence also affects victims’ relationships with their family, friends, and co-workers. 12
38% of victims of sexual violence experience work or school problems, which can include significant problems with a boss, coworker, or peer.
37% experience family/friend problems, including getting into arguments more frequently than before, not feeling able to trust their family/friends, or not feeling as close to them as before the crime.
84% of survivors who were victimized by an intimate partner experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress, or increased problems at work or school.
79% of survivors who were victimized by a family member, close friend, or acquaintance experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress, or increased problems at work or school.
67% of survivors who were victimized by a stranger experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress, or increased problems at work or school.
Victims are at risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Studies suggest that the chance of getting pregnant from one-time, unprotected intercourse is between 3.1-5%13, depending on a multitude of factors, including the time of month intercourse occurs, whether contraceptives are used, and the age of the female. The average number of rapes and sexual assaults against females of childbearing age is approximately 250,000.1 Thus, the number of children conceived from rape each year in the United States might range from 7,750—12,500.12 This is a very general estimate, and the actual number may differ. This statistic presents information from a number of different studies. Further, this information may not take into account factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of pregnancy, including, but not limited to: the impact of birth control or condom use at the time of attack or infertility. RAINN presents this data for educational purposes only and strongly recommends using the citations to review sources for more information and detail.
Native Americans Are at the Greatest Risk of Sexual Violence
On average, American Indians ages 12 and older experience 5,900 sexual assaults per year.14
American Indians are twice as likely to experience a rape/sexual assault compared to all races.
41% of sexual assaults against American Indians are committed by a stranger; 34% by an acquaintance; and 25% by an intimate or family member.
Sexual Violence Affects Thousands of Prisoners Across the Country
An estimated 80,600 inmates each year experience sexual violence while in prison or jail.15
60% of all sexual violence against inmates is perpetrated by jail or prison staff.15
More than 50% of the sexual contact between inmate and staff member—all of which is illegal—is nonconsensual.15
Sexual Violence in the Military Often Goes Unreported
6,053 military members reported experiencing sexual assault during military service in FY 2018. DoD estimates about 20,500 service members experienced sexual assault that year.16
DoD estimates 6.2% of active-duty women and 0.7% of active-duty men experienced sexual assault in FY 2018. 81% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also physically assaulted by that partner; 31% are also sexually assaulted by that partner.
(All of the stats above are from https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence)
I chose to write about this subject because I have been touched by it and I am sick and tired of Hollywood making it look glamorous or the movies and television shows showing that it is okay to victim shame.
I understand that the Me Too movement is a huge help but we have to also hold ourselves accountable as individuals.
It is very important not only for women but also for men to know that they are not alone in this matter. There are so many places that are willing to help and so many people who are always available to talk to.
I went through abuse, myself. I was molested, as a child, by a family member. I was date raped, as a teenager, by a friend of mine. I was physically abused by an old boyfriend, who has since killed himself, may he rest in peace. And when I was married my ex-husband was very abusive to me. Both physically and mentally.
I don't tell you about my abuse and I won't get into any details because that is not why I chose to write this particular blog.
The reason I decided to write this particular blog is that I have a heart for victims of domestic violence and I consider myself, somewhat, an advocate.
It took me many years to get past the pain and every now and then that pain still pops its ugly head up once in a while. I believe it is very important for victims of domestic violence to know that they are not alone and there are plenty of safe havens.
I know that my situations were and are different than your situation but please know that I am here for anyone who may need to talk or who may want a little guidance on where to turn to and who to contact.
You may contact me through this blog and everything will be kept confidential.
Keep in mind that I am not a professional in the matter of abuse, I am a mere victim of it. I am a survivor of it.
molestation n. the crime of sexual acts with children up to the age of 18, including touching of private parts, exposure of genitalia, taking of pornographic pictures, rape, inducement of sexual acts with the molester or with other children, and variations of these acts by pedophiles. Molestation also applies to incest by a relative with a minor family member, and any unwanted sexual acts with adults short of rape.
date rape n. forcible sexual intercourse by a male acquaintance of a woman, during a voluntary social engagement in which the woman did not intend to submit to the sexual advances and resisted the acts by verbal refusals, denials, or pleas to stop, and/or physical resistance. The fact that the parties knew each other or that the woman willingly accompanied the man are not legal defenses to a charge of rape, although one Pennsylvania decision ruled that there had to be some actual physical resistance.
If you or someone you know needs help call 800-656-4673 or you can chat online with someone at online.rainn.org
You can always reach out here and we can help guide you in the next step(s) to Breaking the Chains of abuse.
Be blessed and be safe!