Sexual abuse needs to stop
I am in no doubt that most women reading this will have experienced, or know somebody who has experienced sexual abuse. Whether at the hands of a family member, lover or stranger, recent research shows that this is a common occurrence that most women have either experienced themselves or know a family member or friend who has.
What is important to understand is what to do if you have been a victim of sexual abuse or have had someone close to you confide in you about it.
If it has happened to you:
then you must NOT keep it to yourself. Make sure to first notify somebody close to you and secondly notify the authorities. This is not acceptable behavior and the offending party must be held to account.
If it has happened to someone close to you:
Be supportive. Offer all the care and concern you can muster and encourage them to go to the authorities with their account. But very importantly, do NOT go and report the incident yourself. Although concerned this is not your job to do, such behavior could result in your friend feeling betrayed. Support them to make a report, but that is where your role ends. It is up to you to encourage. But that is it.
This kind of behavior needs to stop. We need more women (and men) reporting the moment that these crimes happen. This has to be stamped out and it is up to each and every one of us to make sure that it stops today.