April 15, 2020 is National RAINN Day – a day set aside to support the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network campaign.
Founded in 1994 by Scott Berkowitz, CEO of A&I Publishing, and Tori Amos singer/songwriter, RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. Along with a complete online resource, advocacy, consulting and training platform, RAINN manages a hotline and an instant messaging site where it serves as first level triage to the sexual violence victim.
According to RAINN, each year there are over 433,648 victims of rape and sexual assault in the United States. In fact, one American is affected by sexual violence every 73 seconds, and 1 in every 6 American women are victims of rape or attempted rape (https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence).
These numbers are staggering especially considering the long-term effects sexual assault has on its victims in the form of distress and substance usage.
Approximately 70% of rape or sexual assault victims experience post traumatic moderate to severe distress.
• Victims experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the two weeks following the rape
• Victims experience PTSD nine months after the rape
• Victims have suicidal thoughts
• Victims make suicidal attempts
People who have been sexually assaulted are more likely to use drugs than the general public. • Victims are 4 times more likely to use marijuana
• Victims are 6 times more likely to use cocaine
• Victims are 10 times more likely to use other major drugs (https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence).
Rape abuse and incest are serious problems in the United States. And currently, with the Covid-19 “Stay-at-Home” order in place, many of the women affected are forced to live with their perpetrators, putting them at further risk.
If you or someone you know are experiencing sexual abuse and need immediate help, please call the RAINN hotline immediately at 1-800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit their website at https://www.rainn.org/.
If you are one of the 70% who experienced sexual violence and have moderate to severe distress that you can’t manage alone, there are professionals who can help. Water Gap Wellness, located in East Stroudsburg, Pa, offers a comprehensive treatment program for individuals suffering from Mental Health diagnoses and PTSD. For more information call 1-833-WGW-HOPE (1-833-949-4673) or https://www.watergapwellness.com/.
written by Annette Kaiser