Is Sexual Abuse Preventable?

It is important to know that victims are never to blame for sexual assault. While it is common to wonder if you could have done something differently to prevent the crime, you are not to blame. With that being said, there are steps that institutions and your community can take to help prevent sexual abuse before it happens. Preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of sexual abuse by fostering environments of safety, protection and awareness.

Spreading Awareness of the Problem

The first step in preventing sexual abuse is spreading awareness of the issue. Leaving people in the dark about the threat of sexual violence, misconduct, exploitation and abuse opens the door for perpetrators to take advantage of victims who are unaware and unprepared

Spreading awareness, on the other hand, educates and informs others about this crime. This enables them to take action to prevent sexual abuse. Awareness can be spread by implementing education programs in places such as schools and community centers.

Identifying the Root Cause

To prevent sexual abuse, one must understand why it happens in the first place. Preventing sex crimes requires identifying the root cause, which is often oppression. The majority of sexual abuse cases involve an imbalance of power between a perpetrator and victim

A system of oppression that targets groups and individuals based on protected classes, such as race, sex, gender identity or expression, economic class, age, ability, or religion, supports the victimization of the oppressed rather than preventing it.

Empowering Would-Be 

Stopping sexual abuse before it occurs requires empowering potential victims. Would-be victims need to be taught how to recognize and prevent sexual violence and exploitation. For example, children and adolescents should be educated on the habits of sexual predators, such as the grooming of young children for child sexual abuse, and told where to report red flags. Self-defense training can also help potential victims feel more confident and enhance their personal safety.

Promoting Consent

The importance of consent should be emphasized to help prevent sexual assault and rape. It is critical for people to understand what consent is, what it is not and the importance of assertively expressing personal boundaries. Healthy relationships that have open communication and couples that do not engage sexually without clear and enthusiastic consent should be promoted.

Establishing Clear Policies

Institutions such as schools, colleges and employers have a responsibility to take measures to prevent sexual abuse within schools. They must comply with various state and federal laws to implement sexual assault and harassment prevention measures, for example, such as the proper screening of new hires. Institutions should also have protocols in place to allow people to report sexual harassment or discrimination and methods for promptly and correctly addressing complaints.

Supporting Victims

Unfortunately, it may not be possible to completely eliminate the crime of sexual abuse even with preventive measures. For this reason, support services should be readily and easily available to victims. Survivors should have open access to crisis helplines, counseling, support groups and resources to facilitate healing. At establishments such as schools and workplaces, trauma-informed care should be made available.

When the community works together, it becomes harder for perpetrators to carry out crimes such as sexual abuse and assault. If you need legal support as a victim of sexual abuse in Kansas, contact the attorneys at DRZ Law for a free and confidential case evaluation.

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