Many children and adults who have gone through sexual assaults gain support and strength in their faith and denominations. Most Sexual assault victims and survivors fail to understand why God was not there to protect them at the time of their abuse. It is the work of the community to protect these victims and also help prevent sexual acts in the society. Sexual assault is whereby an individual engages in sexual activities with another without their consent. It can either be verbally, physically, and visual. Sexual assault can be committed through threats, violence, coercion, manipulation, pressure and tricks. Sexual assault includes acts like rape or forced sexual intercourse, sodomy, incest, child molestation, fondling and attempted rape. Many young people are always lured by their assailants through gifts and money and they end up in their hands. This is a problem that is affecting millions of people every year. The most affected groups are women and young children. Another group that is also vulnerable to sexual assaults is people with learning difficulties, the physically impaired and the mentally ill.
Sexual assault is one of the most under reported crime to law officials because the victims and survivors feel ashamed and also fear being pointed out by others. Most cases that have been reported involve people who are very well known to the victims. Most studies done on sexual assault indicate that he assailants are sometimes friends, acquaintances or family members to the victims, very few cases indicate that strangers are involved in this crime (Sorenson, 98). The people committing this crime are always known to the victim and they will always know their whereabouts, where they stay and where they will be at the time they want to assault them.
Many studies done on the causes of sexual assault have not singled out the main causes of sexual assault. It is only linked to physical, emotional and environmental causes. Early childhood environment has been singled out to be the immediate cause of sexual assault. Research done by Smothers on early childhood environments show that 60% of children, who are sexually abused while still young, become child molesters later in their lives (709). Many children are abused at very tender ages and they refuse to disclose it to their parents out of fear. They live with it and it torments them emotionally and when they become adults, they repeat the same to the children around them. In addition, the same research done also indicates that children who grow up witnessing family violence and abuse and lack care from their parents will always use sexual coercion against women and abuse their immediate partners in future (Smothers 720). In order to prevent this in future, protection should be offered to young children and in case of sexual assault, the should be counseled so that they can heal in order not to do the same in future. Alcohol both in the youth and adults has also resulted to sexual abuse.
Sexual assault has many negative effects in the society. The victims of sexual assault are always at high risk of emotional, health and physical problems. Many of the victims feel ashamed and guilty and they isolate themselves from the rest of the community. They always blame themselves for what happened to them and this affect them emotionally. Sexual assault causes anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic disorders. Many sexual assault victims especially those abused while still young are predisposed to violence in future and also end up abusing others sexually in future. Most sexual assault victims and survivors develop somatic complaints like anxiety, eating disorders, sexual difficulties, self harm, mood disorders, anger and some of them end up even committing suicide. In addition, they develop reproductive health problems, STDs and even contact HIV/AIDs from their assailants. Most of the victims turn to alcohol or substance abuse and this highly affects the community because it leads to the spread of substance use in the society.
Sexual assault has become a very big problem to the community and the perpetrators are going scot free because nothing is being done. The community is affected at large since all this crimes happen and most people are no reporting them. Most young children especially young and adolescent girls and women are being raped in the community and this issue needs to be addressed. In order to start curbing this issue in our community, schools, workplace, college and community education programs on sexual assault and its adverse effects should be implemented. These programs should be compulsory so that the whole community can be educated on how to avoid and handle sexual abuse.
Change in the community can be made by the people of the community meeting with potential community partners who will help them implement change and the people’s views on sexual assault. The whole community should be encouraged to attend meetings of programs that educate them on how to curb the issue of sexual assault in the community. The community van also implement change by researching preventive measures that can work easily to curb this crime.
The men’s program known as one in four programs have proved to be working in reducing sexual abuse and should also be initiated in all communities. This program motivates men to show empathy to the rape survivors since they are the main perpetrators of this crime. According to a research done by Sorenson ( 112) on this program when it was implemented in the community, men committed 40% fewer acts of sexual abuse behaviors than those who did not which means the program will bring change in the society as there will be minimal cases on sexual assault.
Risk reduction programs to reduce risks of being victims of sexual violence should be started in the community. There have been complains in the society about the dress code of young girls and women. Many men complain that they dress seductively and this highly contributes to the rise of sexual assault cases in the community. There should be a change in the society whereby women and young girls are encouraged to dress decently. In addition, young children should be advised not to talk to strangers and to avoid being left alone in closed places with people they do not know well and people they do not trust. If the men attend these programs and women and young ladies dress decently, it will bring change to the community and sexual assault incidences will be minimal.
Many sexual assault cases are highly reported to be happening in the community and a lot needs to be done in order to curb this behavior. The community at large should be in a position to keep all adults and children safe from sexual assault. It is the duty of the community to help the victims and survivors by creating a free sexual assault environment and community that is safe and free from sexual assault cases. Victims service programs should be implemented in the society in order to ensure that both the victims and the survivors are safe fro perpetrators (Hodgson and Kelly 124). In addition, the offenders should not be left scot free but be held responsible for the crimes committed by reporting them to the authorities.
Change in the society can be implemented by the community addressing the issues of sexual violence and its causes. The prevention of sexual assault requires the community at large to look beyond individual factors in order to be able to bring change on sexual assault incidents and to change the environment that commits the violence. When the community is aware of the causes, effects and how sexual assault can be prevented, there will be a free environment that is protective and sexual assault incidents will not be reported.
The change from a society that is free from sexual assault can only be achieved by the community collaborating with private and public agencies to provide the necessary education to the society as a whole. The community also should work together in providing security to young children and others who are vulnerable to sexual assault (Garrity, 49). Everyone should be brothers keeper by keeping an eye on what is happening to their neighbors and report any sexual assault incident or suspicion. In addition, the community should seek both public and private funding for their community initiatives that have been implemented in order to make them successful.
When the people in the community work together, with other private agencies in eliminating sexual assault in the society, there will be a free sexual assault environment. They should also work together with the victims in getting legal assistance so that the perpetrators can be punished accordingly. The assailants will stop sexual assault for the fear of being convicted and imprisoned. Sexual assault is a crime that can be prevented by the community if they unite together.
Hodgson, James F. and Kelley, Debra S. Sexual Violence: Policies, practices, and Challenges in the United States and Canada. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002. Print.
Sorenson, Susan B. (1997). Violence and Sexual Abuse at Home: Current Issues in Spousal Battering and Child Maltreatment, New York: Haworth Press, 1997. Print.
Garrity, Stacy E. "Sexual assault prevention programs for college-aged men: A critical evaluation". Journal of Forensic Nursing 7.1 (2011): 40–8.Print.
Smothers, Melissa K. "A Sexual Assault Primary Prevention Model with Diverse Urban Youth". Journal of Child Sexual Abuse 20.6 (2011): 708–27. Print.