Please note: Due to the sensitive subject matter, the following information includes content that may be upsetting or unsuitable for some readers.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, opens a new window. According to the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault (LaFASA, opens a new window), "in the U.S., one in 5 women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives. One in 3 women and one in 6 men experience some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime. One in 4 girls and one in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old." As a civilized society, we must work toward the eradication of all forms of sexual assault. The first steps to becoming a society without sexual assault is to learn the facts about sexual assault, and to learn ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from potential sexual assaults.
Sexual assault has been, and continues to be, committed against people of all ages, cultures, genders, and levels of socioeconomic status. Sexual assault includes an array of crimes - all forms of rape, child sexual abuse, intimate partner violence (including marital rape), sex trafficking, military sexual trauma, and other acts. One thing that defines a sexual assault is the offender performs or attempts to perform sexual activity with someone who did not consent or was unable to consent. Whether the sexual assault was a single incident or a series of incidents over a period of time, and whether it was done by a stranger, an acquaintance, or a loved one, these acts are crimes. When the offender is found guilty according to the law, the perpetrator is punished - or at least that's how it's supposed to work. Laws vary from state to state in the U.S. To read the most recent Louisiana State Laws regarding sexual assault click here, opens a new window (start with RS 46:1842 and keep clicking the right arrows to read more).
You don't have to remain silent. You don't have to feel ashamed. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact one or more of these agencies to get help:
- Call 911, opens a new window as soon as possible after the attack
- Call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline, opens a new window at 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)
- Chat with online help from RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) by visiting online.rainn.org, opens a new window
- Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, opens a new window at 1-800-799-7233 (TTY number is 1-800-787-3224) or chat online here, opens a new window.
Please take care of yourself and your loved ones. If you or a loved one is thinking or talking about suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, opens a new window at 1-800-273-8255 (in Spanish 1-888-628-9454) is available 24/7. The service is available to anyone and all calls are confidential. National Suicide Prevention's TTY number is 1-800-799-4889. National Suicide Prevention also has an online chat, opens a new window service.
The following is a list of St. Tammany Parish Library resources and external websites that have additional information about sexual assault. If you need help getting a downloadable title from Hoopla, opens a new window, Cloud Library, opens a new window, OverDrive, opens a new window, or Libby, opens a new window, please contact your nearest St. Tammany Parish Library reference librarian, opens a new window.