1 in 5 women report being raped in their lifetime, while 1 in 71 men report the same.
Over ½ of all women living with HIV in the U.S. have been raped, assaulted, or stalked by an intimate partner.
Forced sexual initiation, multiple and high-risk sexual partners, and unprotected sex all increase the risk of HIV contraction.
Strong evidence suggests that women are more likely to contract HIV when in "gender-inequitable" relationships: relationships determined by socially constructed gender roles, usually where the man has more power.
What are you going to do about it?
In short, millions of women are contracting HIV because of sexual violence, often within an intimite relationship.
HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW
Consent may seem very complicated in certain situations, but overall it’s pretty simple: Never automatically assume things. “No” means “No.” And remember, consent can not be given if there’s alcohol involved.
Here’s a great video that explains consent: it’s just like a cup of tea.
Avoid Risky Situations
Never walk alone, especially at night. Leave in groups, stay in groups. If you are dropping each other off at separate cars, walk to one car and drive together to the other car.
Agree with friends to “look out” for one another when attending parties or other events.
The Cost of Campus Rape
sign the petition here
join the movement
A survivor's story
After being sexually assaulted, Lucy felt the pressure of societal stigma, and didn't report the incident. Afterwards, Lucy battled with depression, substance abuse, and anxiety, but was ultimately able to overcome these challenges.
Sexual Assault = Any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the recipient.
Domestic Violence/ Intimate Partner Abuse = Violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner.
Rape = Unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent.
Sexual Assault in the United States
On average, there are 321,500 victims of rape and sexual assault each year
Ages 12-34 are the highest risk years for rape and sexual assault
Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault
1 in every 10 males has been a victim of rape or attempted rape in his lifetime
Transgender students are at a higher risk for sexual violence: 21% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, non conforming) college students have been sexually assaulted, compared to 18% of non-TGQN females, and 4% of non-TGQN males
Since Women are More Likely to be Sexually Assaulted than Men...
Women who have experienced intimate partner violence are 55% more likely to be HIV positive
Women are twice as likely as men to contract HIV during unprotected sex with an infected partner
Women who experience intimate partner violence are approximately 40% more likely to have unprotected sex due to fear of violence and emotional abuse
Relationship Between Violence and HIV Infection
Violence increases the risk of HIV infection as a result of physiological and psychological reasons. Biologically, women are more vulnerable to infection and forced sex, which in turn increases the risk of HIV transmission due to tears and lacerations, especially in adolescent girls. In addition, even the threat of violence can have serious negative consequences. People fearing violence are less able to protect themselves from infection, as they do not have the power to negotiate for safe sex or to refuse unwanted sex. Furthermore, they often do not get tested for HIV, and they fail to seek treatment after infection. This is a larger problem in more underdeveloped countries; for instance, a survey found that about 60% of HIV-positive women chose not to receive treatment at a Zambian clinic because they feared violent behavior and abandonment by their family. Teenagers who had been forced to have sex in the past year were even more likely to hide their HIV-positive status.
Being a victim of sexual violence and being susceptible to HIV share a number of risk behaviors. Forced sex in childhood or adolescence increases the likelihood of engaging in unprotected sex, having multiple partners, participating in sex work, and substance abuse. People who experience forced sex in intimate relationships often find it difficult to negotiate condom use either because using a condom could be interpreted as mistrust of their partner or as an admission of promiscuity. Sexual coercion is also associated with low self-esteem and depression, both of which are factors associated with many of the risk behaviors for HIV-infection.
Machtinger, E.L., et al. Psychological trauma and PTSD in HIV‐positive women: a meta‐analysis. AIDS Behavior. 2012; 16(8): 2091‐ 2100. ; NISVS (2010)
All graphics by Jaclyn Saik