To end domestic violence and sexual assault, we all need to be part of the solution. Educating yourself and others, helping a friend who is being abused, speaking up, and being an engaged bystander are all examples of things you can do to help.
Talking about these issues openly will help end the shame and stigma that domestic violence and sexual assault survivors are burdened with. The next time you’re in a room with 6 people, think about this:
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes.
- 1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend in one year.
- 1 in 5 women are survivors of rape.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men have experienced sexual violence in their lives.
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually abused before the age of 18.
What are domestic violence and sexual assault?
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Some signs of an abusive relationship include:
- Exerting strict control (financial, social and/or appearance).
- Needing constant contact including excessive texts and calls.
- Emotional abuse including insulting a partner in front of other people.
- Extreme jealousy.
- Showing fear around a partner.
- Isolation from family and friends.
- Frequent canceling of plans at the last minute.
- Unexplained injuries or explanations that don’t quite add up.
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is forced or coerced sexual contact without consent – the presence of a clear yes, not the absence of a no. Sexual assault is a crime motivated by a need to control, humiliate, dominate and harm. It can take the form of:
- Child Sexual Abuse/Molestation
- Oral sex
- Forcing a person to pose for sexual pictures
- Fondling or unwanted sexual touching above and under clothing
- Force which may include but is not limited to:
- Use or display of a weapon
- Physical battering
- Immobilization of the victim
How to Offer Support
Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Use these tools for guidance.
Supporting Friends and Family
What to say and how to help
Responding to Violence
Tips for how you can respond to violence when it’s occurring
Real-life examples to help prepare you to take action