You must have come across a number of references being made to sexual assaults these days in the media. Bollywood has come up with movies to educate people all about it and possibly work towards its prevention. Unfortunately, a heinous crime though committed by the abuser, most of the blame befalls on the victim. Most importantly, the real question is, how do you deal with such an abuse? How do you help out people who have experienced it?
Unfortunately, a number of us have experienced sexual assault in varying forms. Do you really know what this is all about? Read on to find out more!
A 2014 piece in The Lancet states, “Whereas an 8.5% prevalence of sexual violence in the country is among the lowest in the world, it is estimated to affect 27.5 million women in India.” A majority of rape cases in India, as elsewhere in the world, are never reported.
Sexual assault need not always involve forced intercourse:
According to the Indian law, the definition of sexual assault is “broadly worded with acts like penetration of penis or any object or any part of body to any extent, into the vagina, mouth or urethra or anus of another person or making another person do so, apply of mouth or touching private parts constitutes the offence of sexual assault. The section has also clarified that penetration means “penetration to any extent”, and lack of physical resistance is immaterial for constituting an offense”.
Sexual assault is all about the power struggle
Sexual assault involves one party trying to dominate and exerting power over the other. Most of the times this involves the intention of trying to degrade the image of the victim or crush him/her (Sexual assault is not gender biased. Yes, men are equally victims of sexual abuse!) morally often allowing a mere boost of ego to the perpetrator.
Victims are often shamed after the assault
At the moment when the assault takes place, the victim is naturally involved in an act of self-defence. It is quite obvious that he/ she may not be able to recall every detail of the incident. However, the penal system requires the victim to prove what he/ she states. What follows in the court room is another act of mental torture. In the absence of sufficient information, often justice remains unserved.
You should seek immediate help when sexually assaulted
Sexual assault can take a toll on your mental health. Unfortunately, if you happen to be a victim and are finding it difficult to cope with the issue seek professional help. You might be forced to think that all of it happened because it was your fault. But trust me, that is not true. Don’t let anyone fool you into believing this. A professional can help you sail through the tough time to make the battle easier for you.
Encourage and support other victims
Sexual assault can make it difficult for you to get back to your daily life. Be sensitive and sympathetic towards those who have experienced this instead of mocking at them. At times, the victim might display anger unintentionally. Try and be patient with him/her as much as possible. It is a hard time to bear with and negative emotions are but natural at this point of time. Encourage him/her to let go and accept things as they come. Be all ears when they are communicating important information.
Sexual assault is a shameful act. It is only when the society learns to respect each human being equally and with respect, only then can we expect change. Let’s make this place a better one for every inhabitant.