Recent Posts

A Movie of Glitches: Living Life with OCD

My life constantly glitches. I often get caught up in one moment and have...

Wisdom from the Well Eating Disorders

Lovoria Williams, Ph.D., FNP-BC, FAANP, is an Associate Professor in the...

Is My Child At-Risk For ADHD?

Have you ever thought your child may be exhibiting signs of Attention...

Suicide Risk Factors

This is the story of John. John is 45 years old and has recently...

Feed Your Mind

Welcome back to Mental Health Research Jeopardy. Today’s theme is mental...

How Does Architecture Contribute to Positive Mental Health Outcomes?

Prior to the beginning of the century, very little literature existed that...

Breaking the Stigma

This is the first-hand story of a woman struggling with postpartum ...

Wisdom from the Well: Feeling Stuck

Lee Anne Walmsley, Ph.D., EdS, MSN, RN, is an Assistant Professor in the...

Wisdom from the Well: Seasonal Affective Dissorder

Lovoria Williams, Ph.D., FNP-BC, FAANP, is an Associate Professor in the...

Tips for Raising Children Living with ADHD

Do you have a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?...

End Rape Culture: Some Truths About Sexual Assault

Dr. Stephanie Kehler
November 18, 2021

 

Did you know 1 in 5 women experience completed or attempted rape during their lifetime? Want to learn more about sexual assault facts and the role of the sexual assault nurse examiner? Your journey begins here…

 

What is a SANE? A registered nurse or advanced practice nurse that is certified to address the crime of sexual assault by implementing a process of high-quality medical care, accurate evidence collection, and support for sexual assault survivors.

 

Why are SANE’s important? “Victims of violence and abuse require care from a health professional who is trained to treat the trauma associated with the wrong that has been done to them.” (IAFN)

 

What is sexual violence? This type of violence comes in many forms including sexual harassment, stalking, sexual assault including sexual abuse of medical professionals, elder abuse, and sexual abuse of people with disabilities to name a few. SANE’s focus is on sexual assault or sexual abuse. 

 

How big is the problem in the US? Sexual assault happens in every community and affects people of all genders and ages. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:

Women aren’t the only victims. One in 71 men have experienced rape or attempted rape.

Age is a factor: 1 in 3 women experienced attempted or completed rape for the first time between the ages of 11 and 17. For men, it is 1 in 4.

Nearly 3 out of 4 adolescents who have been sexually assaulted know their attacker.

 

Myth or Fact? There is a lot of information circulating about sexual violence and the people affected by it. Here are some common myths:

Myth: Sexual assault is an act of lust and passion.

Fact: Sexual assault is about power and control.

 

Myth: If a victim doesn’t fight back, they must have wanted the assault.

Fact: Many survivors experience a “freeze response” during an assault and are unable to move or speak.

 

Myth: A lot of victims lie about being raped.

Fact: Two to 10% are false reports.

 

Myth: Sex workers cannot be raped because they are selling sex.

Fact: Sex workers have the right to give and withhold consent to any sexual activity.

 

Myth: People with disabilities are at low risk for sexual assault.

Fact: People with disabilities are victims of sexual assault twice as much as people without.

 

Myth: Wearing revealing clothing, behaving provocatively, or being under the influence means the victim was “asking for it”.

Fact: The perpetrator selects the victim, no one “asks” to be raped.

 

Why is sexual assault often not reported? Some of the most common reasons include:

            Fear of not being believed

            Being afraid of retaliation

            Shame or fear of being blamed

            Pressure from others

            Distrust towards law enforcement

            Desire to protect the attacker

 

My role as a SANE is to provide care to victims of sexual assault and address trauma that may have occurred with the assault. In addition, my role involves collecting evidence that can be used in a criminal trial if the victim wishes. I want survivors of sexual assault to know they have options and I will uphold their confidentiality and respect their choices. I want to support the survivor as much as I can at the beginning of their recovery process.

 

References:

https://www.forensicnurses.org/page/WhatisFN

https://www.nsvrc.org/statistics

https://www.ourresilience.org/what-you-need-to-know/myths-and-facts/