Very few people know how many have been sexually assaulted. One of the hardest things for victims to do is talk about it or report it.
One in five women and one in seventy-one men will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime. On top of this, 25% of college women and 15% of college men are victims of forced sex during college. These numbers are very large and the report rate is even more alarming with 63% of rape cases not reported. This makes it very hard for police to help these victims. Speak Safe, a group of Nevada’s campus has created a campaign to change these numbers.
Speak Safe is a group on Nevada campus that I am a part of. Our goal is to educate and inform sexual assault survivors of their options for safe resources to confide in.
There are many reasons why rape cases are so under reported. Many feel like their will be retaliation if they do report. There have been many cases where there has been a report against someone high up in society but nothing is done because of their social status. Not only does this hurt the victim but it hurts many others who hear this and get discouraged about reporting their own assault too. It makes victims question if anyone will believe them and if they don’t, it created a bad persona for this victim.
Another reason is victims do not think police will do anything to help. Many have been asked what they were wearing or if they are sure they did not give consent. This is hard for the victim to hear because they question their own assault and it leaves them wondering if it is their fault. A lot of rape cases get dismissed as well. Out of every 1,000 rape cases, only 13 cases get referred to a prosecutor and only 7 will get a felony conviction. Victims want justice and these numbers deter victims from wanting to report.
The last big one is rape cases in court. Many are long and tedious. The victim has to relive their assault every time in court when all they want to do is move on. Going to court can also be expensive.
Changing these issues could be very helpful with changing the numbers of reported rape cases. We need to realize sexual assault is common and that these survivors do need help.
What a lot of victims do not realize is that they do not always have to report to help them get through it. Although reporting is helpful for Police and others, it is not the only option. A lot of resources are confidential. You can speak to a friend or a counselor. There are so many options and Speak Safe has worked hard to list these for the victims who do not necessarily want to report to the Police. No matter your situation, there will always be a resource that is helpful for you.
Many have been inspired to reach out, find the correct resource that will help their trauma, and speak about it. Let’s gather and help those who have been assaulted and change these numbers.