Everybody in today’s society is aware of how sexual assault has drastically impacted the world around us, but we need to discuss and focus more on how we can help prevent sexual assault through education, programs and support. Although pursuing these three strategies may sound harder than it seems, they are extremely crucial to sexual assault victims when coping with trauma in the long run.
The key issue for a person who has been sexually assaulted is the trauma they experience afterward. Trauma comes from “The greek word for ‘wound’ trauma most commonly refers to an emotional shock that produces inescapable and enduring effects” says The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. When a person is traumatized it can lead to PTSD thus creating a more serious type of mental illness. “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the most commonly identified and widely investigated psychological disturbance that occurs after exposure to a traumatic event” according to the Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict. This information is very important for our world’s education in order to stop this ongoing problem involving sexual assault. Not only is it important for people to know the outcome of a person’s mental state, but it is extremely important that individuals know these facts so they can avoid conflict and make an impact for the future. Rape prevention efforts are mainly based on educating the men to stop performing sexual violence on others while preparing the women to avoid sexual assault.
Since education can only do so much when helping others with physical aggression, programs are now strongly invested in. “Three main types of programs have been implemented and evaluated in systematic research: (a) programs directed at men only, (b) programs directed at women only and (c) programs directed at mixed-sex audiences” explains the Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology. The male based programs are strictly focussed on their predispositioned cognitive behaviors towards sexual aggression. These programs help educate men on rape trauma and the outcomes women have to face after being raped which help lower their intentions to be sexually aggressive. To fully help a sexually violent man from acting upon these violent behaviors, the specialists absolutely must take action upon their patient for a long period of time through empathy and practice.
The women’s program demonstrates dangerous behaviors upon the females to help them engage in a more helpful way to reduce the risk of sexual victimization. This may include training to fight against an attack physically, how to avoid threats of rape and how to react. Although these programs do help woman defend themselves, the perpetrators will always be the one at fault. Mixed sex programs are very similar to the single sex programs but may be referred to both genders. These types of programs are mainly focussed on changing people’s attitudes on any rape supportive thoughts they may be having regardless of whether they are female or male. When talking about sexual assault with men and women it can be unfortunately ineffective because of the emotions each gender express when talking about sexual violence in a room all together. This can create a huge conflict which defeats the purpose of mixed gender programs to begin with.
One of the most important things to act upon when helping a person who has been sexually assaulted is support. Without support a victim tends to lead to serious mental illnesses that can be very negative for themselves and the people around them. “Early emotional support for the victim that holds the assailant responsible, rather than an attitude that blames the victim for the sexual assault, is the most effective approach for minimizing the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder” explains the Global Social Issues an Encyclopedia. All people really need when dealing with trauma is physical and mental support. In order for humans to become better after a traumatic event is to interact with other humans; without that we couldn’t survive. “Reversing feelings of shame and preventing further shame brought on by responders attitudes toward victims are crucial for recovery from sexual violence” says the Global Social Issues an Encyclopedia. Without support, trauma patients find it hard to become healthy again. As a society today this support is the main key to stopping the sexual violence happening around us.
As a society today, we can help put a dent into the sexual violence that is happening around us by supporting programs that can eventually help increase the legal cost of rape for the perpetrators. This will then hopefully spread these important messages to people around the world creating better/more efficient treatments for victims as well as making more legal policies for women’s safety. In order to inform the world on this matter, creating positive prevention campaigns would benefit the public by educating everyone on this serious subject.
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