In 2014, more than 100,000 Americans were sexually assaulted, according to the National Institute of Justice, which tracks sexual violence.
A woman’s experience with sexual assault varies greatly depending on the age of the perpetrator, the person who assaulted her and the circumstances surrounding the assault.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has compiled statistics about sexual violence on college campuses and the way it is reported.
One way to determine whether or not you were sexually attacked is to call the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which can be reached at 1-800-656-HOPE.
Sexual violence also is often a symptom of other health problems, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and panic attacks, according a CDC report.
“It’s really important to talk to your health care provider about the diagnosis and treatment of your health problem, as well as other symptoms and symptoms of sexual violence,” said Stephanie Sissel, a registered nurse and sexual violence survivor.
“You may want to see a therapist if you have any of those problems.”
A woman may be able to recover from a sexual assault without medical treatment, but it can be a struggle to know what to do next.
According to a 2016 survey, half of sexual assault survivors who sought help from an outside source had not yet been treated.
Many victims don’t report their assault because they’re afraid to get the help they need, Sissell said.
“They’re not able to take responsibility for their actions and they don’t know how to tell a counselor or a doctor,” she said.
One of the biggest obstacles survivors face is finding a safe place to go.
In 2014 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, which found that one in five women have experienced some form of sexual harassment, and nearly one in six have experienced physical or verbal sexual harassment.
It’s not uncommon for survivors to be isolated, especially for people who are transgender, LGBTQIA and/or non-binary.
“There are so many barriers that survivors face in dealing with sexual violence and how to get support, how to make friends and how do you get access to resources, Sisk said.
It can be difficult to find help because of stigma, she said, adding that many people don. “
Because of the stigma that people still feel, a lot of people don’t seek help,” Roper said.
It can be difficult to find help because of stigma, she said, adding that many people don.
“Some of them feel like they’re invisible and they feel like it’s a violation to disclose to their own family,” Ropers said.
Sisk also has seen some survivors who have left abusive relationships because they feared coming forward with their experience, including one woman who was forced to leave a relationship that was abusive.
The victim’s partner was able to access the rape kit and report the incident to authorities.
“We need to have a culture of being open about sexual assault and that we’re going to do everything we can to prevent and address these types of incidents,” Roker said.
If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual assault, please call the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network at 1 800-656 AME to report a crime.