Sexual violence is any type of unwanted or non-consensual sexual contact or behavior. Unfortunately, sexual violence is very common.
There are many different forms of sexual violence, including:
A person may use threats, coercion, their position of power, or manipulation to commit sexual violence against another person. Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault or sexual violence. However, certain populations are at greater risk of experiencing sexual assault or violence, including people with disabilities, the LGBTQ+ community, youth, people experiencing homelessness, and immigrant communities.
Consent is an active agreement that is given equally between partners engaging in specific sexual activity. Consent must be freely given and informed and a person can change their mind at any time. Consent is more than a yes or a no - it is an ongoing conversation about needs, wants, expectations, and level of comfort with different sexual interactions. Consent is about open and respectful communication.
Consent is not present when someone:
Victims and survivors react to sexual violence in many ways. Each survivor may react differently. Reactions can be subtle, extreme, or anywhere in between. Some common reactions after experiencing sexual violence are guilt, shame, fear, numbness, memory loss, shock, or feelings of isolation. Sexual violence can have psychological, emotional, or physical impacts on a victim or survivor. If you have experienced sexual violence, know that any reaction or feelings you are experiencing are normal responses to a traumatic experience.
We live in a society that supports and normalizes sexual violence and victim blaming - we call this "rape culture." Sexual violence is never a victim's fault. CADA advocates are here to support you, listen to you, safety plan with you, and provide you with resources to help you on your journey.
Statistics were gathered from National Sexual Violence Resource Center. For more statistics on sexual violence, visit National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Advocates are here 24 hours a day to talk with you about your experiences, concerns, and options. CADA's services are free and confidential to all survivors. After an incident of sexual violence, victims often have a lot of questions, such as:
An advocate can help you navigate these questions and provide you with support and tools for safety planning and healing. Advocates can support you no matter what you decide to do. Advocates can help you navigate the complexities of the justice system or health care system or other processes. Advocates can point you in the direction of resources in the community that could help you. Advocates will listen to you, and let you lead the way.
"We believe that sexual violence is preventable. Together we can stop sexual violence before it even occurs." –Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault
All forms of oppression are a root cause of sexual violence. Preventing sexual violence requires collaboration - collaboration within communities, among individuals, and across systems. We all play a role in the prevention of sexual violence and establishing norms of respect, equity, and safety for all.
At CADA we are dedicated to primary prevention efforts through partnerships with area schools, community agencies and other systems partners. To learn more about CADA's prevention efforts, contact our Education Program Manager at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-625-8688 ext. 103.