SEXUAL ASSALT & RAPE RECOVERY

KEYS FOR LIVING - SEXUAL ASSALT & RAPE RECOVERY

RESCUED, REDEEMED & RESTORED

Recovering from sexual assault takes time, and the healing process can be painful. You can regain your sense of control, rebuild your self-worth, and learn to heal.  Regardless of age or gender, the impact of sexual violence goes far beyond any physical injuries. The trauma of being raped or sexually assaulted can be shattering, leaving you feeling scared, ashamed, and alone or plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, and other unpleasant memories. The world doesn’t feel like a safe place anymore. You no longer trust others. You don’t even trust yourself. You may question your judgment, your self-worth, and even your sanity. You may blame yourself for what happened or believe that you’re “dirty” or “damaged goods.” 

The statistics are staggering. The consequences are critical. God’s Word provides practical help for dealing with this destructive societal downfall. In these Keys for Living, discover how God’s truth can equip you with right thinking, and learn how His unfailing love can mend the broken heart.  God will comfort you and give you hope in your life and spiritual challenges, and guide you to know what to do.

Definitions 

Rape is sexual intercourse by threat, force, or deception. 

Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a female or male under the legal age of consent, with or without force. 

Aggravated sexual assault is a legal term used in the prosecution of a statutory rape offense. It also applies to the visible display of a weapon or the threat of death or kidnapping to anyone above statutory age. 

Stranger rape is forced sexual intercourse by one who is unknown to the victim. 

Mate rape or spousal rape is defined as forced sexual relations by a husband. 

“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.” (Psalm 119:28) 

The 3 Stages to Recovery 

  1. The Trauma Stage: For approximately two days to two weeks, the victim is in a crisis. (Psalm 4:8) 
  2. The Teetering Stage: For a year or longer, perhaps until death, the victim will seesaw up and down, sometimes suppressing emotions and sometimes surfacing emotions. (Proverbs 29:25) 
  3. The Trusting Stage: The victim views the incident with a balanced perspective—not trusting everyone, but selecting trustworthy friends. The victim doesn’t trust all circumstances, but trusts God, who is over all circumstances. (Proverbs 3:5–6) 

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

READY TO LEARN MORE?

Do you or do you know someone who has additional questions or requires help?

If so, please choose Women of Faith's other resources on this and other relevant topics (Quick Reference Guide, Keys for Living Books and e-Books).

Grace Filled Words:

“Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?”

Galatians 3:2-3

“The Lord is my shepherd ... I will fear no evil”

Psalm 23:1, 4

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Psalm 147:3

Additional Scriptures: 

Psalm 34:18

 Psalm 37 

Galatians 3:11

Proverbs 16:2

Romans 10:3-4

 

Sexual Violence Affects Millions

Every 73 seconds someone is sexually assaulted.

On average, there are 433,648 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.

Younger People Are at the Highest Risk of Sexual Violence

  • Ages 12-34 are the highest risk years for rape and sexual assault.
  • Those age 65 and older are 92% less likely than 12-24 year olds to be a victim of rape or sexual assault, and 83% less likely than 25-49 year olds.

Women and Girls Experience Sexual Violence at High Rates

Millions of women in the United States have experienced rape.

  • As of 1998, an estimated 17.7 million American women had been victims of attempted or completed rape.5 

Young women are especially at risk.

  • 82% of all juvenile victims are female. 90% of adult rape victims are female.
  • Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.
  • Women ages 18-24 who are college students are 3 times more likely than women in general to experience sexual violence. Females of the same age who are not enrolled in college are 4 times more likely

Men and Boys Are Also Affected by Sexual Violence

Millions of men in the United States have been victims of rape.

  • As of 1998, 2.78 million men in the U.S. had been victims of attempted or completed rape.
  • About 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
  • 1 out of every 10 rape victims are male.

Sexual Violence Can Have Long-Term Effects on Victims

The likelihood that a person suffers suicidal or depressive thoughts increases after sexual violence.

  • 94% of women who are raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the two weeks following the rape.9
  • 30% of women report symptoms of PTSD 9 months after the rape.10
  • 33% of women who are raped contemplate suicide.11
  • 13% of women who are raped attempt suicide.11
  • Approximately 70% of rape or sexual assault victims experience moderate to severe distress, a larger percentage than for any other violent crime.12

People who have been sexually assaulted are more likely to use drugs than the general public.11

  • 3.4 times more likely to use marijuana
  • 6 times more likely to use cocaine
  • 10 times more likely to use other major drugs

Sexual violence also affects victims’ relationships with their family, friends, and co-workers.12

  • 38% of victims of sexual violence experience work or school problems, which can include significant problems with a boss, coworker, or peer.
  • 37% experience family/friend problems, including getting into arguments more frequently than before, not feeling able to trust their family/friends, or not feeling as close to them as before the crime.
  • 84% of survivors who were victimized by an intimate partner experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress, or increased problems at work or school.
  • 79% of survivors who were victimized by a family member, close friend or acquaintance experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress, or increased problems at work or school.
  • 67% of survivors who were victimized by a stranger experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress, or increased problems at work or school.

Victims are at risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

  • Studies suggest that the chance of getting pregnant from one-time, unprotected intercourse is between 3.1-5%13, depending on a multitude of factors, including the time of month intercourse occurs, whether contraceptives are used, and the age of the female. The average number of rapes and sexual assaults against females of childbearing age is approximately 250,000.1 Thus, the number of children conceived from rape each year in the United States might range from 7,750—12,500.12 This is a very general estimate, and the actual number may differ. This statistic presents information from a number of different studies. Further, this information may not take into account factors which increase or decrease the likelihood of pregnancy, including, but not limited to: impact of birth control or condom use at the time of attack or infertility. This data is for educational purposes only, and strongly recommends using the citations (below) to review sources for more information and detail.

Sexual Violence Affects Thousands of Prisoners Across the Country

An estimated 80,600 inmates each year experience sexual violence while in prison or jail.

  • 60% of all sexual violence against inmates is perpetrated by jail or prison staff.15
  • More than 50% of the sexual contact between inmate and staff member—all of which is illegal—is nonconsensual.

Sexual Violence in the Military Often Goes Unreported

14,900 military members experienced unwanted sexual contact in the fiscal year ending September, 2016.

  • 4.3% of active duty women and 0.6% of active duty men experienced unwanted sexual contact in FY16.
  • Of the 14,900 survivors, 43% of females and 17% of males reported.
 

Sources:‚Äč

  1. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2018 (2019). 
  2. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sex Offenses and Offenders (1997); Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Crimes Against the Elderly, 2003-2013 (2014).
  3. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sex Offenses and Offenders (1997).
  4. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Crimes Against the Elderly, 2003-2013 (2014).
  5. National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey (1998). (Statistic presents information on the total number of male and female victims in the United States, using a study from 1998. Because the U.S. population has increased substantially since then, it is probable that the number of victims has, as well. RAINN presents this data for educational purposes only, and strongly recommends using the citations to review any and all sources for more information and detail.) 
  6. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement (2000).
  7. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Rape and Sexual Victimization Among College-Aged Females, 1995-2013 (2014). 
  8. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010  (2013).
  9. D.S. Riggs, T. Murdock, W. Walsh, A prospective examination of post-traumatic stress disorder in rape victims. Journal of Traumatic Stress 455-475 (1992).
  10. J. R. T. Davidson & E. B. Foa (Eds.) Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: DSM-IV and Beyond. American Psychiatric Press: Washington, DC. (pp. 23-36).
  11. DG Kilpatrick, CN Edumuds, AK Seymour. Rape in America: A Report to the Nation. Arlington, VA: National Victim Center and Medical University of South Carolina (1992).
  12. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Socio-emotional Impact of Violent Crime (2014).
  13. Allen J. Wilcox, David B. Dunson, Clarice R. Weinberg, James Trussell, and Donna Day Baird, Likelihood of Contraception with a Single Act of Intercourse: Providing Benchmark Rates for Assessment of Post-Coital Contraceptives, Contraception Journal, (2001).  
  14. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, American Indians and Crime, 1992-2002 (2004).
  15. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2011-2012 (2013).
  16. Department of Defense, Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, (2017).
  17. David Cantor, Bonnie Fisher, Susan Chibnall, Reanna Townsend, et. al. Association of American Universities (AAU), Report on the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct (September 21, 2015). ("Victim services agency” is defined in this study as a “public or privately funded organization that provides victims with support and services to aid their recovery, offer protection, guide them through the criminal justice process, and assist with obtaining restitution.” RAINN presents this data for educational purposes only, and strongly recommends using the citations to review any and all sources for more information and detail.)
NOTICE: The information contained in this resource is general in nature and is not intended to provide or be a substitute for advice, consultation or treatment with a duly licensed mental health practitioner or other medical professional. This resource is intended to provide practical faith-based guidelines for balanced living and is not a replacement for medical advice. Professional services should be pursued whenever necessary and/or appropriate. By utilizing this resource, individuals acknowledge that Women of Faith is not providing direct clinically-oriented mental health treatment or therapy, and that it does not create a therapeutic relationship between any individual and Women of Faith.  Individuals who use this resource also agree to indemnify and hold harmless, Women of Faith, its licensees, affiliates, and assigns, as well as the officers, agents, and employees of Women of Faith and its licensees, affiliates, and assigns, from and against any and all liability, loss, damages, costs, charges, legal fees, recoveries, judgments, penalties, and expenses, which may be obtained against, imposed upon or suffered by Women of Faith.Additionally, certain views and opinions expressed in this resource may be those from sources other than Women of Faithand do not necessarily represent the views of Women of Faith, nor imply an endorsement by Women of Faith. All rights are reserved worldwide and no part of this resource may be reproduced in any form (print or electronic) without the expressed written permission of Women of Faith.
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