A Tribute to Womanhood

Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.


Sexual Assault

Yesterday I had a speaker from Safe Haven come to my women's group.  Safe Haven is a a victim's assistance program for victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.  Safe Haven is located in many states throughout the country.  Yesterday she spoke of sexual assault, and I thought it is something important enough to share it with you.  

Sexual assault in the United States can be all too often a taboo subject that rarely gets brought up in conversation or in other formats. Sadly, many victims feel don't want to talk about it because they feel too ashamed and embarrassed.  And, when we hear the news surrounding high profile cases in which celebrities or sports start are accused of sexual assault, the women who bring charges against these celebrities often find themselves brutalized by the media and society at large. Rape is one of the few crimes in which the victim is attacked instead of sympathized with. These cases are often so severe  that the women drop all charges in order to regain their normal life, land when victims of rape are attacked by the media, the cycle of guilt and shame regarding assault is intensified and more and more women fail to report incidences.
What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual Assault and abuse is any sexual activity that one party does not agree to. This can include:
  •  Inappropriate touching
  •  Vaginal, anal or oral penetration
  •  Sexual intercourse when one party says no or is drugged
  •  Rape
  •  Attempted rape
  •  Child molestation
One form of sexual assault the speaker did not discuss was not discussed was exhibitionism, when someone exposes themselves in public. Several years ago--when I was much younger and thinner--I was traveling on the subway to visit a friend.  There was a man seated by the door, the side of the seat hid all but the upper part of the body.  I was reading my book, but you can sense when someone is watching you.   I thought nothing of it...until I got up to exit the train and saw exactly what he was doing.  It sickened me, and even though there was no contact, I found the entire episode extremely degrading.

The following have been deemed unable to give consent:
  • Anyone under the age of 17
  • Those who are mentally disabled
  • Those who are mentally incapacitated i.e under the influence of drugs and alcohol
  • Those who are physically helpless
The above is New York State Law, but I am sure it pertains to just about every other state as well.

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