Sexual Assault | Domestic Violence | Mental Health
The Sassy Advocate™
There’s no way around it: When I said I wanted to create a space to have hard conversations with heart, I meant it. I often joke that my response to the question, “So, what do you do for a living?” is an instant conversation killer. (Apparently, “I work with survivors of sexual trauma” is not what most people expect me to say.)
One time, a family member suggested that I consider (lying) replying with something more neutral– like a flight attendant or accountant. And for a moment, I even considered it… and then I kicked that idea to the curb where it belonged. The truth is that I’m insanely proud of what I do and of the folks with whom I get to work.
I work with survivors, dammit. I work with people who have lived through things that most people can’t even bear to think about, and somehow they’re still here to tell the tale. I get to work with people who’ve lived inspite of what life has thrown at them. And if that makes people uncomfortable– then that’s their problem.
The Sassy Advocate™ is focussed on bringing awareness to topics that don’t get discussed much over the dinner table or at cocktail parties– specifically domestic violence and sexual assault, and more generally to topics of mental health and human dignity. And more importantly it’s about learning that the consequences of not having these conversations are way too serious, and that it’s possible to get over ourselves and our social comforts enough to have them.
According to recent studies, 1 in 5 women report having been sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetimes. (1) Sexual assaults can include completed and attempted rape, molestation, forced oral sex, groping and other non-consensual acts.
Prevalence of PTSD in Survivors
A Johns Hopkins study stated that the chances a survivor of rape would develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder was between 50-90%.
Percentage of Perpetrators Known to Victim
Our media culture does a heck of a job painting the picture of the typical rapist -- a creepy stranger lurking in the shadows. However stranger rape only accounts for about 22% of all rapes, meaning the vast majority of perpetrators are known to their victims. This number increases to 90% for child sexual abuse.
[bctt tweet="78% of sexual assault victims know their perpetrator. #StopRape #ItsOnUs"]
Sexual Assault Blog Posts
You know what one of the coolest things about having a passion is? The fact that when others learn about this passion, they immediately think of you when they read something regarding it. So yesterday, this article was brought to my attention. In it, Representative...read more
Check out this infographic from the CDC that summarizes the results of the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, and highlights some of the most important things to know about how domestic/intimate partner violence and sexual assault impact the people...read more
This post originally appeared on Many Kind Regards. It is republished here with permission. The club was packed. The music pulsed through the crowd making the dance floor look a rhythmic sea of hands, and hair and bodies. I gleefully joined in – ready to fully...read more
Number of Women Who Die Each Day
According National Network to End Domestic Violence, 3 women die each day as a result of intimate parter or domestic violence. (4)
Number of People per Minute
According to the CDC, 20 people per minute experience physical violence by an intimate partner in the United States. That’s over 10 million acts of violence perpetrated by partners per year. (5)
Percentage of Financial Abuse in Domestic Violence Cases
Financial abuse is one of the most prevalent forms of abuse, while at the same being among the most overlooked. The abuser will often have complete control of the money supply which creates daunting barriers to leaving. (6)
Domestic Violence Blog Posts
Why Don't They Just Leave?! This is THE question when it comes to domestic violence, isn't it? Why don't they just leave? I’ve heard this question from audience members and even well-meaning curious friends and family over the years. However this question came to the...read more
Moving Forward Series: From Domestic Violence EPISODE 12 -- Guest: E.J. Smith, M.S. Original Air Date: April 6, 2015 E.J. Smith, counselor, advocate and creator of The Sassy Advocate and SimplyEJ sat down with Dayton Ann Williams, host of A Light for the Soul Who...read more
This piece was originally published on Many Kind Regards. It is being reprinted here with the permission of the site owner, as well as the author. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this. I promised myself that when this movie came out, I would just let it slip by… I...read more
An earlier version of this piece was originally published on Many Kind Regards. It is being reprinted here with the permission of the site owner, as well as the author. Think back to your childhood. Somewhere in there, do your childhood memories include a run-in with...read more
1 National Sexual Violence Resource Center. (2015). Statistics About Sexual Violence
2 Population Information Program, Center for Communications Programs. (2000). Population reports: Ending violence against women. The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health & Center for Health and Gender Equity.
3 US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2013). Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010
4 The National Network To End Domestic Violence. (2013). Domestic Violence Awareness Month 31 in 31
5 Center for Disease Control (CDC). (2014). National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS)
6 The National Network to End Domestic Violence. (2015). About Financial Abuse.
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