Girls ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. These traumatic experiences can have physical and emotional health consequences that last years, if not a lifetime.
Despite its devastating consequences and prevalence, sexual assault continues and goes largely unreported. It is important to talk to children and teens about sexual assault so they understand what constitutes assault, are aware of the threat, and know how to respond if they are threatened or assaulted.
With a few simple actions by each of us, we can create the societal shift we need to break the silence around sexual assault.
- Be a role model for respectful behavior. Speak with children and teens about healthy sexual development and personal boundaries.
- Speak out against sexual assault. Refuse to tolerate rape jokes, victim blaming, demeaning language and degrading behavior -- especially when children and teens are listening. Everyone has the power to lead by example by refusing to tolerate hateful speech and actions.
- Offer support. Create a safe space for children and teens to seek support by simply listening and not passing judgment.
Be that one person to speak up. You have the power to make a difference. Take the pledge to break the silence and talk to teens about sexual assault.
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