Fierce Fridays: Sexual Assault

feminist books, books about feminism, books for girls, books for teens, books for women

Welcome to week six of sharing excerpts from the book, Fierce: A New Generation of Female Empowerment. This book is for those who have a desire to get the most out of life. Those who want to make positive change, but are not sure how to make it happen. It is for any age female who needs a reminder of how fierce they can be. It is for young women who will soon be out of high school and on their way to college or some other adventure. Share these posts with all the girls and women in your life. Let them know the book can be read for free online or a a soft cover book is available for sale at Bookemon.com. Enjoy!

Sexual Assault

Are you tired of being called a victim just because you are a woman? Women and men(and boys and girls) who are assaulted are not to blame. It doesn’t matter what we wear or say or do. When rape occurs there is often an undertone of how that person should have known someone had intent to hurt them or that it isn’t safe to go anywhere alone. Does that mean we should accept a belief that all people are dangerous in the wrong circumstances? What exactly are the wrong circumstances? If assault happens at home, school, work or at a party are we really supposed to believe those are wrong circumstances? Yes you can use prevention to lower your risk (more on that later). However since rape is a violent crime committed by another person, it is completely and only the perpetrators fault.

For a long time women have been told to keep quiet about sexual assault and that has only caused it to grow. History shows us that when we ignore violent problems they escalate because if nobody stands up for themselves or another, they are giving the offender a chance to hurt more people. Millions of girls and women and boys and men have been sexually assaulted. It is a crime that hurts all genders, though it is mostly females that are sexually assaulted. This is because many cultures enforce a gender biased belief that girls are sexual objects, and inferior to or only alive to obey and serve a man.

You can fight sexual assault by starting conversations about why we must put an end to it. Ask your male friends and family members about sexual assault, harassment and rape. Since rapists are mostly men, it is important that men take the steps to end rape. We cannot continue to ignore when a person is molested, raped or assaulted. Rape is bad. Sex is good. It is an undeniably important part of life and not something bad. Sex is an act you should enjoy when and only WHEN YOU ARE READY. Sex should never be an act that hurts.

Words can cause as much harm as violence. There is a disgusting trend of calling a girl a slut, a whore or easy when she has sex. This is a terrible act of verbal abuse. When you use these words you are perpetuating a gender bias that punishes girls while rewarding boys. We have a completely opposite view of boys and sex. Boys are called a stud or manly and considered to be cool when they have sex. This double standard is one reason girls are wary of admitting to sexual assault. In the case of sexual assault, girls are often blamed for being a tease or dressing in revealing clothing. Girls are told that they “were asking” to be assaulted or raped because of how they acted or dressed. This is just not true! It’s called victim-blame and it is wrong!

The only person to blame in a case of sexual assault is the attacker. Sexual assault happens because the predator is violent. Women are assaulted and raped wearing head to toe coverings like burqas or sweats that are not considered sexy, so this belief that how a woman dresses causes rape is illogical. It also doesn’t matter if you flirt, have had sex before or even say you want to and then change your mind. If you say no or stop, and your partner forces you to have sex, that person is a rapist.

It’s very plain and simple, NO MEANS NO! You have a right to fight back!

You have a right to protect yourself from sexual predators and you have the right to be protected if you report an assault. There are trained emergency responders who can assist you in reporting a crime. After an assault there are steps you can take to help police identify and arrest your attacker. While it may seem scary to admit to being assaulted or raped, your report can help police prove someone is dangerous and keep them from hurting someone else. Even if you decide not to press charges, reporting a rape can help police find serial rapists and keep them off the streets. If you are assaulted there are actions you can take to get help. Counseling and the tools to continue living as a survivor are available.

If you are assaulted, do not take a shower. Stay in the clothes you wore during the attack. If you are raped you need to have a physical exam. You need to be tested for STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). A nurse or doctor will collect any DNA such as hair or blood samples off your body and clothes for what is called a rape kit. This will be used if you decide to press charges.

Do not waste your time in a relationship with someone who disrespects you. Whether you date a boy or a girl, your partner should treat you with respect. You should feel safe and loved when you are in a romantic relationship. If your partner pressures you into activities or puts you in situations that make you uncomfortable tell them. Communication is vital to a healthy relationship. Other people cannot read your mind, so it is important to speak up about sex in a relationship. If your partner refuses to change, leave them. Their behavior will only become worse. You are too important to date someone who does not truly care about you.

Your feelings are equally important. Your partner should never make you feel inferior or control you. Whether your relationship is romantic or platonic, you have the right to say NO! You deserve to be loved.

It is always your choice to say yes or no to sex, drugs, smoking, drinking, shoplifting, teasing or hurting others and any activity that causes you to be scared or uncomfortable. YOU HAVE THE POWER to surround yourself with people who treat you well. Free counseling and supportive services are available to survivors and victims of sexual assault.

Call the Sexual Assault National Hotline at 1-800-656-4673

You have a right to change your mind and can say NO even if you said YES last time.

You have a right to change your mind in the heat of the moment.

You have a right to wear what you want and not be harassed or assaulted.

You have a right to drink alcohol or use drugs and not be raped.

You are capable of deciding for yourself about when is a good time to have sex and when is not.

You are capable of not bowing down to pressure to have sex or perform sexual acts.

You are capable of telling someone their actions or words are not appropriate.

You deserve to be treated with respect… Continue reading at Bookemon.com.

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