I recently attended a workshop (mandatory at my university) on sexual assault. The workshop was intended to inform us on ways to support a survivor of…

I recently attended a workshop (mandatory at my university) on sexual assault. The workshop was intended to inform us on ways to support a survivor of sexual assault, including ways to support ourselves if we ever are assaulted in this way. It was eye-opening in the sense that much of the information they told us about sexual assault were things that I (and likely most people in the workshop) weren’t aware of or held misconceptions about. I’ve always had this idea that sexual assault will be perpetrated on me by some random shady dude hiding in the bushes or some shady alleyway. I was surprised to hear that around 80% of sexual assault cases are perpetrated by people we know. Which is not to say of course that I’ll now be suspicious of every male friend I have, but the point is that for people who have experienced sexual assault, their trust in people is challenged if not damaged by such an experience because of this reality. We went over the issue of what actually is considered sexual assault. To summarize, sexual assault is any unwanted aggressive, sexual advance on another person. (Of course there’s a lot more to this definition). What I really found disconcerting about sexual assault and its impact is how narrow-minded and insensitive those of us who haven’t experienced sexual assault personally can be towards those who have. Even people who care a lot about a victim of sexual assault might subconsciously blame the victim for what happened and say things that suggest that. What kind of support is that, then? Which is not to say of course that I’ll now be suspicious of every male friend I have, but the point is that for people who have experienced sexual assault, their trust in people is challenged if not damaged by such an experience because of this reality. – Allyson

 back to the Blog

Comments are closed.