“A meta-analysis of 28 studies of women and girls aged 14 and older who had had non-consensual sex obtained through force, threat or incapacitation found that 60% of these victims didn’t acknowledge that they had been raped.

The stories behind the shockingly high numbers show one key reason that sexual assault often isn’t reported right away: it’s common for victims to need time to acknowledge what’s happened to them.

Labelling of unwanted sexual experiences is generally a gradual process, and one of the hallmarks of PTSD is emotional or behavioural avoidance of reminders of the trauma. In fact, 75% of the people who contact centres run by the organisation Rape Crisis England and Wales are seeking support for an assault that took place at least a year earlier.

Not only is there no link between how quickly someone reports an assault and how genuine this allegation is, but a number of social and psychological factors keep assault survivors from processing their experiences immediately.” – BBC

 

“One in six women in the United States will become a victim of sexual assault in her lifetime. Eighty percent of those rape victims will know their assailant—which leads to 20 percent, the number of assaults that will ever be reported in light of the massive societal barriers preventing victims from speaking out against a familiar face.
No one wants to talk about rape. Not your best friend. Not your boyfriend. It is too horrific a topic to wrap our brains around, and most people simply shut off if you begin to share your story. Then the questions and the doubt are near immediate: Did you say no? Did you fight back? How did it still happen? Did you fight hard enough? Were you flirting? Were you drinking? Did you scream? Did you cry? Did you go to the police?

With each question comes a whole new wave of self-doubt. Did I fight hard enough? Why didn’t I scream? Were my “no’s” loud and many enough? Did he see my tears? Did I lead him on??” – Sarah Bertness

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