Let’s be honest, no one really wants to talk about sex, let alone sexual assault, but if we want to end it – we have to talk about it! It’s not easy, but if we can get past being uncomfortable for a minute, these are important conversations for us to have as communities, as educators, as parents, as friends.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and sexual violence affects millions of Americans. According to RAINN, every 92 seconds an American is assaulted (rainn.org). The Kansas Bureau of Investigation reports that in 2017 one rape occurred every seven hours and six minutes in Kansas (Domestic Violence, Stalking and Sexual Assault in Kansas, KBI 2017).
The vast majority, 99% of perpetrators will never go to jail or prison for their acts of violence. Sexual violence also has long term effects on victims. Most victims experience post-traumatic stress disorder following the rape. There are significantly higher rates of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts for victims – 13% of women who are raped attempt suicide. As well as increased rates of substance abuse, problems at work or school, and feelings of isolation and distrust (rainn.org).
Jana’s Campaign provides prevention education programs to reduce gender and relationship violence in middle and high schools, at colleges and universities and throughout the community. We are thankful for everyone who believes in the #PowerofPrevention and supports our work. Together, we have a role in building safe, healthy relationships and communities. When we start having conversations about these difficult issues, we remove the barriers for victims, teach and encourage healthy, consensual relationships and ultimately prevent the violence from happening.
It’s time … to talk about it!
Kim Cebula, Executive Director
Jana’s Campaign, Inc.