Identifying, educating and preventing sexual assaults | Darn Wright
Last updated 4/9/2021 at 11:25am
Every calendar month and its days are set aside for us to focus our attention on some specific topic, with many of those being bizarre or wacky ones. Be that as it may, additional days have been appropriately set aside for us to spend time on self-reflections. Such being the case, it's April and these 30 days have been reserved to spotlight Sexual Assault Awareness. For that reason, I will add my thoughts and experiences dealing with this hideous, hostile and in many cases criminal and other noncriminal but obnoxious behaviors.
While serving the residents of Washington for 30 years as a probation and parole officer and five years of that time spent supervising the King/Snohomish County Special Sex Offender Supervision Unit, I accumulated north of 10,000 hours – yes 10,000 hours – interviewing sex offenders. Then my expertise was expanded when I taught a Sexual Deviancy and the Law course at Seattle University for 19 years. Next off add my 30 years as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and another 25 years using my Certified Traumatic Stress Specialist training and experiences: I submit I am well qualified to add to the many views about sexual assault awareness.
My working definition of sexual assault consists of any coerced actions where the perpetrator is motivated by the desire to impose their wonton cravings, or their reproductive and sexual orientations, or ideological views on a non-consensual individual, which then causes their victim physical and/or emotional suffering.
Rape is probably the number one identified sexual assault. We all clearly know it is not the only example, and we as a society must continue to educate our residents about the other cases of sexual abuse, such as reproductive coercion and blackmailing.
From a recent mental health continuing education course I just completed on Domestic and Sexual Violence, I learned from a California study that 53% of those who responded to a sexual questionnaire reported physical or sexual violence committed by a partner, another 19% reported experiencing pregnancy coercion, and 15% of their 16- to-29-year-old respondents reported birth-control sabotage.
These findings are just a shadow of what constitutes sexual violence, and we as a society must dedicate ourselves to become educated about other ways of sexual victimization such as:
• Unwanted touching or unwanted talking about one's sexuality.
• Being forced or manipulated into doing unwanted, painful, or degrading sexual acts.
• Being taken advantage of when under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
• Being denied contraception or protection against sexually transmitted disease.
• Photographing or filming body parts and other types of sexual pictures without one's consent.
• Threatening to break up or withdraw one's support when sex is refused.
• Threatening blackmailing a person if the individual does not comply with their sexual wishes.
Those are just a few examples of sexual abuses and from my point of view I will add that it is sexual abuse, noted previously in my working definition, when someone or a group unwelcomely tries to interfere by engaging in intimidating actions, which are addressed as anyone who is trying to use their January 22, 1973, constitutional Supreme Court's reproductive rights, as declared in their decision Roe v. Wade.
For more information or to add your support to these sexual abuse resources, please contact Victim Support Services at 1-888-288-9221 or Providence Sexual Assault Center 425-252-4800.
National resource Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) is available at 1-800-656-4673, https://www.rainn.org.
To continue our fight and to curtail sexual abuse, communities need to have well-developed educational, prevention and anti-sexual abuse support services. But common sense tells us these programs in themselves are not sufficient. Those avenues toward advancing our knowledge and support systems must have our collective and individual volunteer-time and our financial support.
Darn right, we singly and globally are the only ones who can identify, educate, prevent, and then support actions that are directed at stopping all types of sexual exploitations.