The Many Faces Of Sexual Assault; Let's Discuss.

"I am going to get that girl tonight. Definitely."

Certainty. Pride. Smack lips.

"Hey shawty..."

Walks over. Fills glass. Alcohol.

"It looks like someone needs some more drinks"

More alcohol. Petty conversations. More alcohol. More petty conversation. Intoxicated.

"Why don't we call it a night and head over to my place."


"um...yea...maybe. I don't know"

Laughter. Drunk. Intoxicated. Judgment impaired.

Sexual assault comes in various forms. While  the definition of sexual assault  varies widely between different jurisdictions—especially legally—it is common knowledge that the basis of sexual assault is engaging in an UNWANTED sexual act. The key word is unwanted. Also, there are variances of the term 'sexual act'. When you dig further and deeper, you would realize, especially with statistics that many people have been sexually assaulted or at least sexually harassed and they probably didn't even realize. In a recent mandatory sexual assault online course I took, I learnt some statistics and figures; I would share them in this post and further explain preventive measures that can be taken.

According to the aforementioned course, alcohol is the leading course of sexual assault especially in the United States. Among other things, alcohol impairs people's judgments. Sometimes, both the prey and the predators' are victims of alcohol intoxication. I was both devastated and flabbergasted when I found out that 1 in 5 American female students report that they have either been raped or almost raped. What was even worse was that, 90% of these victims were assaulted by people they KNOW. That means that while that creepy person you suspect may be following you is dangerous, you are more likely to be assaulted by someone you are very familiar with. This person may come in form of an ex-partner, a current partner, a casual friend, a very good friend or sometimes family. Yes, family! We also should never assume women are the only victims of sexual assault.  1 in 33 men are sexually assaulted at one time or the other. Now that we have established the stats and figures, let's go further to study how it can be prevented.


Let's assume the introductory conversation did happen. First and foremost since it was in a public place (which is where many assaults start from anyway), the people around witnessing this should not just stand and keep mum. Yes, at that stage, nothing concrete had happened. But since the girl in question was obviously drunk, people around could try to distract the guy or in fact tell him directly that the girl was in no condition to really say if she wanted to follow him home. I think that men and women need to know that except a person gives a VERBAL consent, they do not want to have sex. Don't infer from body language or mood or facial expression, the only thing permissible is a verbal acknowledgement where the person says 'yes'. Now, assuming the said person says a yes at the beginning, the person has a right to call it off and withdraw their consent at any moment otherwise, that  also qualifies as a sexual assault. Since we know many predators take advantage of intoxicated people, it is our responsibility to either drink very responsibly, not drink at all or have someone you trust with you who is not drinking. Personally, I think you should forget the last option because trust is very relative and talking about who to trust is another blogpost  on its own. Bottom line, party responsibly or don't party at all.
Unfortunately, another very common aspect of sexual assault is threat. For instance, if a superior colleague at work or a teacher asks for sexual favors and threatens you when you refuse the advances, that is a classic example of sexual assault. Assuming the victim goes ahead to have sexual relations with this superior, since the victim was coerced, I believe it was still a case of sexual assault. The predator gave conditions and threats as a repercussion for refusing, so it was a sexual assault and can be reported. I would say you could say no but knowing what I do about some Nigerian lectu... *ahem* What were we saying? Okay sexual assault. Do not let anyone manipulate you please, try as hard as possible to not let anybody in a supposed higher position take advantage of you. I think a really unfortunate type (and they all are) would be the one between partners—people who are together. According to research, this type mostly starts from emotional abuse to verbal to physical and then to sexual abuse. We all know that friend whose boyfriend just yells at them for the silliest reason. Or the one that is obsessive and would not let their partner breathe or talk to any other person. Na so e dey start*. The minute your partner starts raping you, let's not merry go round here, just pick up yourself and leave. Full-stop. Get help if you have to but make sure you leave.
Now those exes, casual friends and buddies; It's hard to sometimes see this type coming but I guess it means we have to be very cautious and self aware. I have a LOT to say about these 'ex' people, but I am struggling hard to not digress here and to focus on the one thing I am blogging about. Like I said, it is very unfortunate that many of these situations cannot be helped especially with supposed friends and maybe even strangers. But if you do happen to find yourself in such situations, you have all the power to stop it. I blogged about a real live story HERE; how the lady survived almost being raped. Unfortunately again, and this is really sad but there are still victims. Sometimes, it just happens in ways no one could have expected or overcome. And if you are in this category, I am sorry. Extremely sorry. There are things one can do after being sexually assaulted but know that it is up to you to decide. Whatever you decide is fine. You can immediately go to a hospital, first for your own safety, health-wise and also because getting a rape kit can help to preserve evidence should you decide to report to the police. Most times, it is advised that you report because in most cases, that helps to stop the predator from doing the same damage to other people. However, assuming you don't want to report, that is fine too. You may also call counselling centers that offer help to victims. Or perhaps, you are fine with talking to a trusted friend or family. Whatever works. What is most important is that you try to heal both physically and emotionally. And you will, eventually.

Stalking is quite an important factor in all forms of assault. Unfortunately, stalking has never been easier than it is now. According to the course, Technology is a primary tool used by stalkers. Hello Twitter. Hello Facebook. Hello Instagram. Of course there is harmless stalking on social network but there are also harmful ones. Personally, I am learning the act of being discreet, not because of assault now but because I just hate to satisfy the curiosity of nosy people. Lol. But seriously, I toy with my Twitter and FB but Instagram, sigh. I love and hate that site. Pictures make everything so LIVE! Hence, my account is private. I can't shout. Lol. Seriously though, don't go about tweeting your every movement or tweeting about how you live alone. Only do these, if you have absolute control over your Twitter followers. It's a scary world out there guys. You can't ever be too careful. Oh and parents, PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN. Pedophiles are very despicable and they are everywhere. That innocent aunt and uncle... Uhunnn (in Wendy's voice). If your child tells you something, don't just brush it off. Believe the child and take it up. Step on toes if you have to, but protect that child.

So how can we stop this scourge  from the corners of our homes? Educate people. Enlighten people. Tweet about it, blog about it, update your Facebook status. Let these predators know they are being watched and people are being more guarded. Spread the word. One word at a time.


*That's how it usually starts.

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