Sexual Assault: We All Have A Voice

Have you ever been rubbed up on inappropriately at a club? Has someone ever touched
or groped you in a way that made you feel uncomfortable? Have you ever been pressured to go
out on a date or have sex with someone? Most of us have experienced sexual assault in one way
or another, sometimes even unknowingly. There’s behaviors that we always see and experience
in certain situations — for example at a nightclub — that become what we consider “normal,”
when they shouldn’t be, and they really aren’t. Sexual assault should not be normalized in any
way, shape or form, but many people don’t recognize all of the things that can fall into this
category. Which leads me to why it’s important to know, to realize, that some of the things you
were uncomfortable with in one situation or another — things that you thought were normal and
acceptable — really aren’t, unless you explicitly consent to them, without any sort of
But with all this in mind, what is sexual assault really? Many people tend to only think of
rape when they hear the term sexual assault, but in reality there is an entire spectrum of
behaviors that fall into this category, which can also be prosecuted. According to RAINN (rape,
abuse and incest national network), “sexual assault refers to any type of sexual contact or
behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim,” encompassing everything from
harassment, stalking, fondling, being forced to participate in any sexual act, along with rape
itself. It’s important to note that the word force doesn’t only mean physical force, but also
emotional or psychological manipulation. As for rape, it doesn’t only refer to vaginal
penetration, but rather any type of sexual penetration that occurs without consent, including oral
and anal. Overall, it’s important to notice when things like these occur and stop normalizing
actions that are harmful both to you and others. Once you know what sexual assault is, it’s easier
to put a stop to things you may have allowed before.

Recently, thousands of people all over the world have begun to speak up about their own
experiences of sexual assault in all types of situations, including in places where you’re supposed
to feel safe, like schools and offices. Often times, these crimes are committed by people we
know, which isn’t a nice thing to think, but it is necessary to realize. Thankfully, a lot of women
and men have joined movements like #metoo to help other victims and empower them to say
something. According to the #metoo movement’s website, over 17,700,000 women have
reported a sexual assault since 1998; the numbers keep growing and the amount of victims
getting help — and helping to stop sexual violence as well — has increased drastically. Keeping
in mind that that statistic only includes women, imagine all the male victims that are also using
their voice to end the silence that so often envelops victims of sexual assault. Although these
crimes still very much exist, it’s a step in the right direction to stop the perpetrators, by telling
your story and using your voice.
One way to help catch the people who commit crimes of sexual assault is by having a
sexual assault forensic exam, more commonly known as a rape kit. The idea behind this is that
DNA evidence can be collected not only through the crime scene, but also from your body,
clothes and personal belongings; victims are also offered important medical care when they go
through the exam. This way, the victim isn’t required to report the crime, but if they ever decide
to change their minds, they have the evidence safely stored away. Some important things to note
is that the exam doesn’t cost any money, increases the probability of prosecution, and makes sure
that you don’t have any nonvisible injuries. They can also provide emergency contraception, in
order to avoid an unwanted pregnancy and give you as much help and support as possible.

To Sum up, although it they do sometimes provide treatment for STI’s, rape kits don’t
always give the victim a way to prevent these infections to begin with, which is why
AftercourseWipes could be a great addition to the care provided to victims of sexual violence.
Since our wipes are designed specifically for use after intercourse occurs, they can be especially
useful for rape kits, in order to help the victim obtain a peace of mind knowing that they are
protected from infections and as clean as possible. The most important thing to ensure when
someone has been sexually assaulted is their care and wellbeing, and Aftercourse Wipes, can
certainly help keep victims clean and safe.