SIX THINGS TO STOP TELLING SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS

"Sexual assault is disturbingly common in the United States. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), about 15 percent of women are raped during their lifetimes. Studies have found that one in every three to five women is sexually assaulted during college, depending on the study and how it defines sexual assault. For gender-nonconforming people, it's even worse, with 39.1 percent of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, questioning, or non-conforming) people experiencing sexual misconduct during college, according to one Association of American Universities study. Men aren't exempt either, with 8.6 percent experiencing sexual misconduct during college and three percent experiencing completed or attempted rape at some point, according to RAINN. Due to the stigmatization and blaming of sexual assault victims, these crimes usually go unreported. RAINN estimates that only 32 percent are reported to police.

Victims shouldn't have to live with shame that should actually belong to their perpetrators. Here are some things we need to stop saying to them in order to avoid perpetuating the stigma."

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