Sexual Assault: Myths vs. Facts

What to Do if You’ve Just Been Sexually Assaulted

  • Get to a safe place.
  • Contact someone who can help you: a friend, the police (911), the Midland Rape Crisis and Children’s Advocacy Center (682-RAPE).
  • Do not shower, drink or eat, douche, or change your clothes. These activities destroy important evidence in the event that you decide to prosecute the assailant.
  • Get medical attention. You may have hidden injuries and may want to explore options for preventing pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Write down everything that you remember happening, with as much detail as possible. This can help with your own healing process and in any legal action you might decide to take.

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Facts about Child Sexual Abuse

WHAT IS CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE?

Sexual abuse includes sexual intercourse and/or its deviations. This behavior may only be the last step in a worsening pattern of sexual abuse. For that reason and because of their devastating effects, exhibitionism, fondling and other sexual contact with children are also considered sexually abusive.

Non-touching sexual offenses include: indecent exposure/exhibition, exposing children to pornographic material, deliberately exposing a child to an act of sexual intercourse, and masturbation in front of a child.

Touching sexual offenses include: fondling, making a child touch an adult’s sexual organs, penetration of vagina or anus — no matter how slight — by a penis or object that doesn’t have a medical purpose.

Sexual exploitation of a child is also an offense and can include: using child to film, photograph or model pornography, engaging child or soliciting child for purpose of prostitution.

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Statistics

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE STATISTICS

  • An estimated 879,000 children were victims of maltreatment nationwide in 2000. Of these, 10.1% were sexually abused. [Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau, 2000]
  • In 2000, sexual abuse of children occurred at the rate of 2.1 children per thousand. [lbid]
  • Five to fifteen percent of all males, and fifteen to thirty percent of all females report some type of exposure to child sexual abuse. [Source: Brown, 2000]
  • Based on reports to law enforcement, children under 12 constituted approximately 50 percent of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with object, and forcible fondling. [Source: Snyder, 2000]
  • A longitudinal comparative study of 1,575 people, 908 of which were abused or neglected in childhood, and the remainder of which were the control group, showed that the abused/neglected group:
    • Scored significantly lower on an IQ scale;
    • Held significantly more menial and semiskilled jobs;
    • Had 1.6 times higher odds of committing crimes as adults; and,
    • Were significantly more likely to have attempted a suicide and developed antisocial personality disorders. [Source: Widom, 2000]

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SEXUAL ASSAULT STATISTICS

In a recent survey conducted by KRC Research/Weber Shandwick, adults and teenagers clearly worry about sexual assault and believe Texas should take the issue more seriously. (Texas Association Against Sexual Assault Survey)

One out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. [Source: Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1998.]

Nine out of every ten women rape victims were female. [Source: 2000 National Crime Victimization Survey]

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Sexual Assault Information and Resources

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