Best Friends

YOU HAVE THE POWER TO BE AN ALLY

  • Know the facts and challenge the myths about sexual violence.

  • Understand that sexual violence is a tool to oppress others.

  • Educate yourself about oppressive hierarchies: sexism, racism, classism, ableism, ageism, and hetero-sexism.

  • Acknowledge where you have privilege in our society

  • Interrupt oppressive behavior by those around you.

  • Support or join organizations focusing on social justice for oppressed people.

Sexual violence is devastating and often has life long-term effects on survivors. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 17 men in Colorado will be victims of a completed or attempted sexual assault in their lifetime. Over 60% of sexual assaults occur when the victim is under the age of 18.  Survivors who experience acts of profound violence, intrusion and humiliation, often do not seek help immediately following victimization.  Survivors of sexual abuse and assault are 3 times more likely than the general population to experience major depression, 6 times more likely to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and 13 times more likely to attempt suicide.  Children and teens face added risks of early initiation of sexual activity, low self-esteem, multiple sexual partners, poor contraceptive use, and teen pregnancy.

 

 

Youth bear a greater burden as victims of sexual violence, as they live in a society where sexual violence is accepted and used to keep societal hierarchies in place. 

 

SASO’s comprehensive program planning intends to develop and evaluate strategies that prevent sexual violence or the underlying intersection of oppression that fuels sexual violence. Our prevention programs name oppression as a root cause of sexual violence, and thus incorporate strategies to challenge all manifestations of oppression. 

 

SASO believes that for any prevention effort to truly work, we need to collaborate as a community to empower each other. 

 

No More!  Because We SASO.

 

DEFINITIONS

OPPRESSION

Systemic institutional mistreatment that exists between groups where dominants benefit at the expense of subordinates. This mistreatment serves to maintain the unearned power and privilege of the dominant group.

SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Any sexual act that a person has not consented to. Can include a large range of behaviors that violate a person's space & safety in a sexual way (i.e. obscene phone calls, cat-calling, sexual harassment, rape, voyeurism, unwanted touch, etc.). The level of violation is defined by the person who experiences it.

UNWANTED SEXUAL CONTACT

Any non-consensual sexual contact, such as touching or fondling of breasts, buttocks, genitals or other sexual/ "private" parts.

SEXUAL ASSAULT

Generally used to describe some type of physical sexual violation or physical sex act that was performed without consent.

RAPE

A common term used to describe acts of vaginal, oral or anal penetration without consent. This is not a legal term in Colorado.

CONSENT

Most basically, consent means agreeing to an action of one's own free will. Consent is active, based on choice, and is only possible when there is equal power.

STATISTICS

National statistics provided by Rape Abuse & Incest National Network

  • Every 2 minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted

  • 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime

  • 1 in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime

  • 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police

  • 73% of rape victims know their assailants

  • 15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 12 

Victims of sexual assault are:

  • 3x more likely to suffer from depression.

  • 6x more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder

  • 13x more likely to abuse alcohol

  • 26x more likely to abuse drugs

  • 14x more likely to contemplate suicide

  • More than 50% of all rape/sexual assault incidents that were reported by victims have occurred within 1 mile of their home or at their home.

  • Approximately 2/3 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim.

  • 73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.

  • 38% perpetrators are a friend or acquaintance.

  • 28% are an intimate.

  • 7% are a relative.

  • 4 in 10 take place at the victim's home.

  • 2 in 10 take place at the home of a friend, neighbor, or relative.

  • 1 in 12 take place in a parking garage.

SASO 2017 Statistics:

 

  • SASO has responded to 173 community members through the hotline

  • 113 individuals self-disclosed a recent or past history of sexual assault 

  • This includes 9 separate court cases with multiple hearings 

  • SASO provided medical advocacy for 38 forensic medical exams

  • There are over 400 cumulative staff and volunteer hours covering court cases and case management.

RECOMMENDED READING

The following books are suggestions.  Come visit SASO's library to check out more titles.  For purchasing information, visit indiebound.

Protecting The Gift – Gavin de Becker

Provides a direct look at strategies of predators, a study of how children are victimized, and a look at why.  Understanding human violence empowers parents to protect their children more effectively.

 

The Courage To Heal – Ellen Bass & Laura Davis

A comprehensive guide intended to offer women hope and encouragement as they move from victim to survivor.  (the courage to heal workbook is available separately.)

 

Too Scared To Cry – Lenore Terr

This book, based on case studies of more than 285 young people, looks at the effect of trauma on children as well as our entire society.

 

The Bully, The Bullied, And The Bystander – Barbara Coloroso

From pre-school to high school – how parents and teachers can help break the cycle of violence.

Raising A Thinking Child – Myrna Sure

This book can teach young children how to solve problems and resolve conflicts that come up daily with friends, teachers, and family.  It can also help them explore alternative solutions and consequences, while considering the feelings of others.  (Raising a thinking child workbook includes activities, games and discussions to help young children learn to socialize and deal with conflict resolution.)

Children First – Penelope Leach

This research places parenting in a social context with discussion of how our laws, employment policies and our culture can be harmful to children and disastrous to committed parents because of the ways they contradict our verbiage about family values.

 

Strong At The Broken Places – Linda Sanford

A book about the love, inner strength and courage of abuse survivors.  It challenges a common myth that “damaged goods” can’t heal from abuse.  Evidence from case studies reveals the moving proof that full recovery is not only possible, but in most cases, the norm.

 

For Your Own Good – Alice Miller

This book examines the roots of violence in our society by emphasizing the methods parents have used for centuries in raising their children and makes a correlation to the world conditions today that may be the result of the often harmful and cruel principals we accept in child rearing. 

 

Boys Will Be Boys – Myriam Miedzian

This book explores how and why American males are increasingly turning to violence and what a society, and we, as individuals can do about it.  This book offers suggestions for teaching boys to be self-reliant, inquisitive and sensitive despite environmental pressure to be “macho” and domineering.