April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month


“Sexual Assault Victim Advocates,” from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the Sullivan Library is raising awareness by shedding some light on the topics of the traumatic experience of sexual assault, survival, as well as healing, and finding resources for help.


“Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2017 Campaign Poster,” from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.

Sexual Assault affects hundreds of Americans every single day, and it does not always mean that a victim experienced violent rape or child molestation in order to have been assaulted sexually.

In the State of New York, Sexual Assault can be generally defined as subjecting another person to sexual contact without the latter’s consent; meaning a wide-range of sexual conduct can be criminalized and constituted as Sexual Abuse, particularly if spoken-consent is not voiced between two fully-conscious adults.


“Sexual assault is not locker room talk: Women’s March, Seneca Falls, NY, 2018,” from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.

Sexual Abuse is a prevalent issue in the United States. According to RAINN, the Rape & Abuse & Incest National Network, there is a new victim of Sexual Abuse in the United States every 98 seconds.


“A Step in the Right Direction: Sexual Assault Awareness Month Walk,” from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.

1/6 American women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted), 1/33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime (about 3% of men) (National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention), and from 2009-2013, Child Protective Services agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence to indicate that, 63,000 children a year were victims of sexual abuse (United States Department of Health and Human Services).

A majority of victims are children aged 12-17, and of victims under the age of 18, 34% of victims of sexual assault and rape are under the age of 12, and 66% of victims of sexual assault and rape are aged 12-17 (Department of Justice).


“With You: To Survivors of Sexual Assault,” from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.


Some books that are being featured in the Sullivan Library’s Display Case, starting this week for the month of April, can be found below.


We Believe You: Survivors of Camus Sexual Assault Speak Out By Annie E. Clark and Andrea L. Pino

In this book, students from every kind of college and university—large and small, public and private, highly selective and then less so—share experiences of trauma, healing, and everyday activism. They represent the diversity of those who experience sexual assault, as well as the disheartening statistics that tell us that more than 20% of women and 5% of men are sexually assaulted while at college.


Sexual Assault in the Military: A Guide for Victims and Families By Cheryl Lawhorne Scott and Don Philpott

This book highlights a societal issue of significant concern that, according to Paddy Gough, if left uncorrected, will serve to erode the basic fabric of our society. Sexual assault and harassment in the military have been critical subjects for years; however, unfortunately, many victims are reluctant to press charges because of fear of retaliation, damage to their careers, and widespread uncertainty regarding the military justice system. This book focuses on many of the resources that are available in assisting victims and families to report, seek help, and recover from the effects of sexual abuse.


After Silence: Rape & My Journey Back By Nancy Venable Raine

This book is an inspiring account of a traumatic experience and the experience’s serious aftermath and effects on the victim. After Silence is a personal journey back to wellness after feeling violated. It is a complex vision of evil and redemption in Nany Venable Raine’s story.


For more information about sexual assault, prevention and services for victims, please visit the Campus Prevention Network and the Center For Safety & Change websites.



Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sex Offenses and Offenders (1997).

National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey (1998).

United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. Child Maltreatment Survey, 2012 (2013).

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