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The individual and our communities feel the effects of sexual violence.  Schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, campuses, and cultural or religious communities may feel fear, anger or disbelief if a sexual assault happened in their community. As with any form of violence, sexual violence tears at the fabric of community well-being.  Additionally, there are financial costs to communities.  These costs include medical services, criminal justice expenses, crisis and mental health services fees, and the lost contributions of individuals affected by sexual violence.


The Impact on Families

Sexual violence can affect parents, friends, partners, children, spouses and/or co-workers of the survivor.  As they try to make sense of what happened, family, friends, and significant others may experience similar reactions and feelings to those of the survivor.  Fear, guilt, self-blame, and anger are but a few reactions they may experience.


In order to best support the survivor, it is important for those close to them to get support as well.  Promise Place provides confidential services to women, men and children who have been affected by sexual violence.  This can include advocacy, counseling in an individual, family or group setting; information and referral services; and 24 hour crisis assistance.





About 14% of reported rapes involve men or boys, and that 1 in 6 reported sexual assaults is against a boy and 1 in 25 reported sexual assaults is against a man . As with male sexual violence against women, sexual violence against men is motivated by the desire to dominate and use sex as a weapon against the victim. The majority of the perpetrators of sexual violence against men are white, heterosexual men .


Male victims experience similar effects of sexual violence as female victims such as shame, grief, anger and fear. Male victims may also have issues surrounding their sexual and/or gender identity after a sexual assault. Issues of reporting and talking about their experiences, challenges for all victims of sexual violence, may be especially difficult for male victims because of gender socialization issues.


Men and boys who have been sexually victimized have a right to a full range of recovery services in settings that fully support their needs. Rape crisis centers should make every effort to ensure that volunteers and staff are trained on the needs and experiences of male victims; the availability of services for male victims is included in advertising and outreach; and the full range of services at the center, including support groups, is available to male victims.




The prevalence of sexual violence perpetrated against elders is difficult to quantify. As with many other victims/survivors, elders often do not report sexual abuse or sexual assault. However, their reasons for not reporting are often more complex. It is estimated that for every one case of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self-neglect reported to authorities, about five more go unreported. Elder sexual violence victims may require specialized assistance; they often receive fewer services and interventions than younger victims.  Many elders need the help of a care provider; and in many cases where an elder is sexually abused or assaulted, the perpetrator is the caregiver.


Survivors may be afraid of reporting a family member, losing the assistance of the caregiver, losing independence, or losing their home. Older adults can experience sexual violence in both institutional and residential settings.The physical impact for elders who experience sexual violence, especially regarding recovery, is often more traumatic.


Sexual violence takes many forms including attacks such as rape or attempted rape, as well as any unwanted sexual contact or threats.  A sexual assault occurs when someone touches any part of another person's body in a sexual manner without the other person's consent.  Some forms of sexual acts which fall under the category of sexual include rape, sodomy (oral or anal sexual acts), child molestation, incest, fondling or attempted rape.  In any form sexual violence is a devastating crime.


The Effects of Sexual Assault & Trauma





Depression/Social Withdrawl


Restricted Affect



Impaired Memory                                          

Loss of self-esteem

Thoughts of suicide and death                        

Substance Abuse

Psychological disorders/Panic Attacks              

Self mutilitation

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