1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
Fifteen percent of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12.
Seven percent of girls in grades 5-8 and 12% of girls in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused.
Three percent of boys grades 5-8 and 5% of boys in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused.
In 1995, local child protection service agencies identified 126,000 children who were victims of either substantiated or indicated sexual abuse.
Of these, 75% were girls.
Nearly 30% of child victims were between the age of 4 and 7.
93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.
34.2% of attackers were family members.
58.7% were acquaintances. Only 7% of the perpetrators were strangers to the victims.
Victims of sexual assault are:
3 times more likely to suffer from depression.
6 time more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.
And if these statistics aren’t reason enough for you to become aware of (at the least) or become involved in the fight against sexual assault and abuse, maybe knowing that I was a child victim would help.
The issue is as old as humanity. My first novel, How Sweet the Sound, is a modern day retelling of the story of Tamar in the book of 2 Samuel in the Bible, a woman raped by her brother and left to live in desolation. In my book, however, the Tamar figure (named Comfort) learns to find hope and healing.
Share this story with someone you know today who needs hope, or even if you need to find hope, yourself.