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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual violence is one of the most common forms of power-based violence that uses sex as a way to have power and control over another person. It’s an umbrella term that encompasses all forms of sexual abuse, such as assault, harassment, trafficking, and prostitution.

What “counts” as sexual assault?

Sexual bullying: The abuser tries to humiliate you by using sexually degrading words or calls you sexual names intended to make you feel inferior or bad and to wear you down so that you do what he/she says.

Sexual “grooming” and punishment: The abuser gets you to have sex with him or her, sometimes starting out with giving you gifts or making you feel special, showing you pornography and touching you. The abuser then tries to make you promise not to tell anyone or tells you that no one will believe you if you do tell. This happens very often if you are victimized as a child.

Drug facilitated assault: On a date or when you first meet someone, the abuser encourages you to drink a lot or take drugs, and has sex with you when you are intoxicated. The abuser usually has planned to do this before meeting you.

Acquaintance/date rape: You meet someone at a party or you are going out with them and they push you to accept touches and sexual talk in a way that makes you uncomfortable. You can’t make them stop, so you start tuning it out. The abuser then gets you alone and has sex with you even though you say “no.” You feel like you are to blame because you feel you didn’t fight hard enough.

Sexual attacks of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims by trusted adults, dates and acquaintances, strangers and partners—and also by people who target LGBT people for sexual punishment because of their sexual identities.

Intimate partner sexual assault: If your partner or spouse may force you to have sex or have sex with you in a way you do not want, that is sexual assault.

Prostitution: Prostitution is easy to get involved in, and so hard to get out of. You may have felt that this was all you could do to escape a worse situation or to take care of yourself and your child. Your partner or a family member may have pushed or convinced you.

Institutional sexual assault: A staff member of a program, group home, medical facility or prison or jail may make you have sex with them because they have power over you or control your medication, care or other resources that are essential to you.

If you or someone you know needs support, the National Sexual Assault Hotline is Confidential 24/7.

Happy National Nurses Day

May 06, 2024
Today we celebrate the incredible dedication and compassion of the NWF Health Network Nurse Care Coordinators, who work hard to ensure the well-being of the children in our community.