First off, I would like to
introduce the definition; Sexual Assault is defined, according to csun.edu, as
any sexual activity that is non-consensual or forced. It can include unwanted
or non-consensual touching; forced vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Non-consensual
or rape is a victim’s inability to give consent, a clear yes or no, because of threat
of violence, or coercion; due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
unconscious; or due to mental, or physical disability. Sexual assaults are not
usually an in-the-moment situation. Most rapes are pre-meditated and planned
out, and only about 8% of rapes are perpetrated by strangers (Perpetrators). Sexual assault can happen to anyone of any ethnicity, size, and shape. But
it is never a one-sided spontaneous situation. The grey area of consent really
is not so grey, there are many factors that may inhibit the ability of the
victim to give a clear yes and therefore it is an assault.

          Women and men with severe mental disabilities
are up to five times more likely than the general population to be victims of
sexual assault. Mental health disabilities are very common among college students:
An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 to 25, live with a mental health
disability (Chadron State College). The study, published in Psychological
Medicine, constructed that 40% of women observed with mental disabilities,
such as anxiety, depression and panic attacks, have been sexually assaulted or
attempted to be sexually assaulted. In the general population, 7% of women have
been victims of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. 12% of men observed
with mental disabilities have been sexually assaulted, compared to 0.5% of the
general population (“40%”). Men and Women, with any mental disabilities, are
more likely to be sexually assaulted because they are more likely to believe it
is their fault, got themselves into the situation, froze, or couldn’t remember.
They’re unable to speak out because of fear they may be making it up because of
their mental disability, or because they may not remember every detail, which
could also go along with Kloe, with victims blacking out due to drugs or
alcohol.

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          Even the effects post sexual assault
can be far worse. Sexual assault can have a variety of long and short term effects
on a victim’s mental health such as sense of helplessness, poor health,
persistent fear, withdrawal or isolation, panic attacks, sleep disturbances,
phobias, relationship difficulties, and paranoia. Many sexual assault victims
report feelings of shame, flashbacks, and guilt. Victims of rape or sexual
assault are far more at risk for developing depression, substance use, eating
disorders, PTSD, or anxiety (“Sexual Assault and Mental Health.”). When a
victim having (a) circumstance(s) of sexual assault and confiding in close
relationships with negative reactions from friends, family, and work professionals
can deeply worsen the impact of sexual assault on mental health, because sexual
assault PTSD can have a serious impact on mental health. The post effect of
sexual assault can lead to suicide or drop outs. Sexual assault victims lives
can be greatly altered because of the effects caused by the event or by others
words. Mental disabilities cause by a sexual assault can inhibit the victims
from carrying on in everyday life, especially college students.

          Would anyone blame a woman or man who
suffers from a schizophrenia disorder if someone raped her? Schizophrenia is a
mental disorder that affects 6% of the general population, occurs often in
people ages 16 to 25 and is affected by stress (Schizophrenia). Would we compare
the rape to her disability, and say she should have been better to prevent it? For
a victim, it is a humiliating and degrading act. Blaming the victim happens
very frequently, especially in other countries. It should be very clear to
everyone, but it seems to be needed stated many times; the sexual assaulter/rapist
is the offender. The rapist is always at fault, never the victims. That should
never be an argument. The correct and most right thing to do is to say no; the
hackers; the viewer of the photographs; or the rapist: they are the ones who
shaped society to believe the victim is to blame, but the rapist/sexual
assaulters are the ones who deserve to be publicly shamed.

          I’ll
end this with a question. What constitutes as non-consensual assault? Well, if
a woman cannot give a clear negative or positive answer. If she is under
influence of drugs or alcohol. If the rapist is aware of a planned meet up by
friends or even if he/she is aware of the victim’s mental disability. Again, I
would like to reintroduce the definition of sexual assault. Sexual Assault is
defined, according to csun.edu, as any sexual activity that is non-consensual
or forced. It can include unwanted or non-consensual touching; forced vaginal,
anal, or oral penetration. Non-consensual or rape is a victim’s inability to
give consent, a clear yes or no, because of threat of violence, or coercion;
due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, unconscious; or due to
mental, or physical disability.