SAAM

SAAM- Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Statistically, it was reported that 734,630 people were sexually assaulted in 2018… and that’s only ones that were reported. Imagine all of the abuse that goes not reported.

60% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to police, according to a statistical average of the past 5 years. Those rapists, of course, never spend a day in prison. Factoring in unreported rapes, only about 6% of rapists ever serve a day in jail.

If a sexual assault is reported there is only a 50% chance of an arrest.

If an arrest is made there is only an 80% chance of prosecution.

If there is a prosecution, there is a 58% chance of conviction.

If there is a felony conviction, there is a 69% chance the convict will spend time in jail.

So even in the 39% of attacks that are reported to police, there is only a 16.3% chance the abuser will end up in prison.

Factoring in unreported abuse, about 6% of abusers will ever spend a day in jail.

9 out of 10 abusers walk free.

Those statistics are so heartbreaking, but oh so true. I HATE when someone says “oh but did you report it?” Normally, even if you report it nothing happens. It’s so scary to tell your story, even to authorities. Sometimes it feels easier to try and pretend the abuse didn’t happen. At least for a little while.

My first abuse, when I was a child, it was reported. And guess what? Nothing happened to him. Someone got to sexually abuse a child and walk away free. And I know that happens every single day…. So when my significant abuse happened as a young adult, it seemed kind of silly to me to even report it when I wasn’t protected even as a child when reported. Everyone is different though. To me, it wasn’t worth going through that and fighting that battle to loose. I know there was a chance I would have won, but at that time I couldn’t loose anything else.

Sexual Abuse is hell. It’s a battle wound that stays with you forever. No matter the age that it happens, it never fully leaves you.

The healing process can be so messy. Like any kind of trauma, really. You feel like you’re reliving the abuse all over again while trying to heal from it. Some days it feels hopeless. Until one day, you realize you aren’t getting flash backs as often, you don’t flinch every time someone touches you unannounced, you aren’t quite as scared of the dark. Things are looking up for you.

If you haven’t reached that point in your healing yet, just hold on, keep pushing, keep fighting, you’ll get there. I promise.

For me, writing a letter to my abuser helped. I didn’t send it, it was for me. Writing out all of my feelings and hurts on a piece of paper to clearly see.

One day, their name won’t make you want to cry, or give you so much anxiety you want to run away. One day you’ll be able to say their name. One day that name, their name, won’t have such a strong hold on you.

I know the pain of the after effects of abuse. The worthlessnesses, the PTSD, the anxiety, all of it. I don’t think it ever just fully stops, but it does get better. Yes, there’s days that are harder, there’s day when you don’t want to be strong and you don’t want to fight, but it’s worth it. There’s days I struggle, there’s days I don’t want to fight, but I still get up and make a conscious effort to try.

It’s gonna get better. Maybe not today. But it will.

Sexual Assault Hotline: (800) 656-4673

-S

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