Is sexual violence increasing or have more women decided to speak out?

Women Silenced
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Recently it seems like sexual violence is at an all-time high. We’ve witnessed celebrities such as Bill Cosby, Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein and others in headlines news.

As these stories continue to unfold, it seems more and more people are coming forward to speak out about their alleged sexual injustice. Some of these allegations are decades old, making one question is sexual violence on the rise? Or in this digital age in which people are sharing more or their personal lives online, has it given people the courage to come forward and face their aggressors?

Women’s Movements: Protecting the rights of women, encouraging women to speak out 

Women’s movements such as Amber Rose’s slut walk, The #METoo Campaign, the Women’s March and many others women’s movements are working to protect women’s rights and provide a platform for women to speak out about injustices. These movements encourage women to have a voice and not allow society or fear to silence them. They stand together in solidarity, to provide strength to those who normally would not have the courage to do so alone.

Has sexual violence increased? 

According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), 70% of sexual violent crimes go unreported. The following reasons were provided within the report as the reason victims cited for not reporting:

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  • 20% feared retaliation
  • 13% believed the police would not do anything to help
  • 13% believed it was a personal matter
  • 8% reported to a different official
  • 8% believed it was not important enough to report
  • 7% did not want to get the perpetrator in trouble
  • 2% believed the police could not do anything to help
  • 30% gave another reason, or did not cite one reason

However, on the other side of the coin, RAINN also cited that sexual assault and rape has fallen 63% since 1993 to 2015 (RAINN). In conclusion, while the numbers relating to sexual assault speak for themselve, we most continue to fight and stand with victims against sexual assault, through unity we can begin to promote change.

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