Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rape and the truth about false accusations.

The Enliven Project is a truth-telling campaign to bring sexual violence out of the closet and convert the most powerful bystanders to new allies.
Sexual violence is the biggest issue we aren’t talking about in America.  Incorporating lessons from the gay rights and AIDS movements and campaigns like Opportunity Nation, The Enliven Project will tell the truth about sexual violence in classrooms, break-rooms, and board-rooms, enlisting the most powerful bystanders to join the movement, promoting the most promising interventions, and increasing justice and acceptance for survivors everywhere.

The facts about sexual violence are startling.

An American man’s chance of prostate cancer is exactly the same as his chance of being sexually assaulted: 1 out of 6. Among American women, 1 of 8 will be diagnosed with breast cancer; 1 of 4 will be sexually assaulted. Yet in 2011, the Susan G. Komen Foundation spent $492 million on awareness and prevention, five times more than the four largest anti-sexual violence organizations combined.*
Victims of sexual violence are significantly more likely to suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and abuse drugs and alcohol.  Many of them will attempt suicide.  And there is also evidence to suggest that sexual abuse in childhood can lead to lifelong health issues like cardiovascular disease and obesity.   Without a new approach, the U.S. will keep paying the steep price for sexual violence: $127 billion/year.

For every act of sexual violence that takes place, there is a perpetrator and a victim.  But there are also individual and organizational bystanders.  The parent who misses the warning signs that the family friend isn’t appropriate with children.  The teacher who ignores behavior that suggests something is wrong.  The principal who fails to offer training on child sexual abuse prevention and intervention.  The campus whose bureaucracy makes it all but impossible to report a sexual assault.  The employer that stays silent on a critical issue directly impacting the life and livelihood of 16-25% of its workforce.

Bystanders can pave the pathway to recovery from sexual violence, or they can reinforce shame, silence, and stigma.  From: The Enliven Project.

Note: I can't say that I agree with the orientation of this group as far as changing this situation is concerned but raising the issue is in itself important and I thought the graph was important.

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