Sexual Assault Information

How can I find out how many sex offenders live in my neighborhood?

Visit Texas Department of Public Safety Online and search the Sex Offender Registration Database by zip code to find out.

Myths and Facts

Myth – Some women ask to be sexually assaulted by the way they dress or act.
Fact – One person’s behavior does not justify another person committing a crime against them.

Myth – If we avoid strangers we will avoid being sexually assaulted.
Fact – Over 75% of all reported sexual assaults are committed by acquaintances.

Myth – Only young, attractive women are sexually assaulted.
Fact – Targets of sexual assault can be any age, male or female.

Myth – Victims lie about being sexually assaulted.
Fact – Less than 2% lie about being sexually assaulted.

Sexual Assault Facts

Approximately 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime. About 25% of men will be victims before they are eighteen. 2/3 of sexual assaults are never reported. ( Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2015-2019 (2020). Some of the reasons sexual assault goes unreported are fear of not being believed, not realizing a sexual assault occurred (for example if the victim is a minor or the assault occurred by an intimate partner or spouse, a victim might not realize what they experience was rape), fear of retaliation, believe law enforcement will not do anything, and belief that nothing will happen. Out of every 1000 perpetrators, 975 will walk free. (Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010 (2013).

Current or former spouses or intimate partners commit 33% of the sexual assaults. 39% of sexual assaults were committed by someone the victim identified as a friend or acquaintance. 19.5% of victims did not know their attacker.(Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2010-2016 (2017).Sexual assault is about POWER and CONTROL- not sex. Offenders use sexualized violence to overpower and control another person. Sexual assault is a premeditated crime where 71% of offenders plan their assault and deliberately choose their victim. (Sexual Assault Training Manual, Texas Office of the Attorney General and Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, 2000.) Sexual assault also revolves around consent. Many survivors are unaware they were sexually assaulted because they do not understand the role consent plays. Consent, an agreement between parties involved to engage in sexual activity, must be freely given without coercion, must be given every time, and can be withdrawn at anytime in which case the activity must end. Intimate partners and spouses that are offenders believe they are entitled to sexual activity due to the relationship, however consent is needed anytime sexual activity occurs regardless of the relationship. Individuals are also not able to consent when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Alcohol remains the number 1 date rape drug.

Sexual assault occurs: 55% in the victim’s home 12% in the home of a friend, relative or neighbor, 15% in a public and open space like a park, 10% in a public enclosed space like a parking garage, and 8% are on school property. (Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Female Victims of Sexual Violence, 1994-2010 (2013) Teens 16 to 19 were four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. Adolescents ages 12 to 17 are more likely to be sexually assaulted by young adults 18 to 24. Children under 12 are more likely to be sexually assaulted by persons under age 18. (Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sex Offenses and Offenders (1997).  

Safety Tips for Sexual Assault

Nothing and no one can guarantee that you will never be sexually assaulted. However, you can reduce your risk of a sexual assault by:

  • Being aware of your surroundings looking around you and noticing the people who are near or behind you
  • Being assertive walking confidently and letting people know when you are uncomfortable with their proximity or actions. Predators are searching for someone vulnerable.
  • Check under your car and in the back seat before entering.
  • Keeping your doors and windows locked, especially when you are home alone
  • Being sure that you know who you are opening your door to confirming the identity of repair/sales persons. Keep in mind, if someone come to the door that you are unaware of, you do not have to open the door.
  • Taking a self-defense course
  • Trusting your instincts and recognizing risky situations. If it feels wrong, it is wrong.

In Your Relationships

Since most sexual assaults occur by someone known, these prevention strategies can be used to prevent sexual assault:

  • Establish clear boundaries early on
  • Use clear, assertive communication
  • Use affirmative answers (clear “YES” or “NO”)
  • Understand how consent works
  • Challenge risk factors, such as entitlement, sexiest attitudes, hypermasculinity, objectification of women, attitude that sexual violence is normal, rape culture, etc
  • Watch for controlling behaviors in the relationship. Remember, sexual assault is not about sex, it is about power and control

If You Are Sexually Assaulted

  • Know that it is not your fault. You did not do anything to cause it, and you are not to blame.
  • Seek emotional support from a friend or relative with whom you feel comfortable or call a Rape Crisis Center.
  • You may go to the nearest hospital for a forensic exam. You may call a rape crisis center to have an advocate accompany you for support and comfort. If you wish to pursue criminal action, DO NOT douche, bathe, shower, eat or drink anything or change clothes before you go. While this is an uncomfortable concept, you are the evidence.
  • Speak to an advocate about reporting the rape to law enforcement. The advocate will inform you of your rights and will provide expectations for the reporting process as well as criminal justice process should the case be prosecuted.

 

Call Bay Area Turning Point for help. Even if you do not report the rape or press charges, free and confidential services, including emergency accompaniment and support, are available 24 hours a day.

Call our crisis hot-line at (281) 286-2525.

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