Not Alone: White House Task Force Report Re Sexual Assault & Minorities

Recently released:

The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault, April, 2014.

President Barack Obama, January 22, 2014:

Sexual violence is more than just a crime against individuals. It threatens our families, it threatens our communities; ultimately, it threatens the entire country. It tears apart the fabric of our communities. And that’s why we’re here today — because we have the power to do something about it as a government, as a nation. We have the capacity to stop sexual assault, support those who have survived it, and bring perpetrators to justice.

Vice President Joe Biden, January 22, 2014

Freedom from sexual assault is a basic human right… a nation’s decency is in large part measured by how it responds to violence against women… our daughters, our sisters, our wives, our mothers, our grandmothers have every single right to expect to be free from violence and sexual abuse.

Did you know?

  •  One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college.
  •  Most often, it happens her freshman or sophomore year.
  •  In the great majority of cases (75-80%), she knows her attacker, whether as an acquaintance, classmate, friend or (ex)boyfriend.

Well worth reading. See also:

1 in 5 Undergraduate Women Faces Sexual Assault—Now the Federal Government Is Finally Doing Something About It, May 9, 2014


How Football Culture Can Change Rape Culture, April 15, 2014

But hold on! These data do not address sexual violence perpetrated against vulnerable populations including marginalized and minority populations.

A closer look is warranted:

See Sexual Assault and Vulnerable Populations:

…minority and marginalized women are often the most vulnerable—and generally also those who face the greatest obstacles to gaining protection and necessary services. Factors such as race, class, ethnicity and disability may make women particularly vulnerable to sexual assault.

And see Sexualized Violence Statistics:

While 80% of reported rapes are against white women, minorities are more likely to be assaulted.

The following sources provide data about sexual violence and Latinas:

Latinas and Sexual Violence

Based on the U.S. Census, projections for the Hispanic female population in the future, and the one-in-six victimization calculation, by the year 2050, the number of females of Hispanic origin who have experienced some form of sexual violence could reach 10.8 million.

Statistical estimates may underrepresent Latina victims because of barriers to reporting incidents of sexual abuse. Consider fear of consequences to the victims if they report, lack of services, language barrier, and cultural barriers.

A recent, very detailed report published by the U.S. Department of Justice is available here:

Final Report Sexual Assault Among Latinas (SALAS) Study, April 2010

Abstract: The study found that 17.2 percent of the women in the sample had been sexually victimized at some point in their lives. A completed sexual assault was experienced by 8.8 percent of the sample; 8.9 percent experienced an attempted sexual assault, and 11.4 percent experienced fondling or forced touch. At least one sexual assault as an adult was experienced by 7.6 percent of the sample, and 12.2 percent had experienced at least one sexual assault as a child. Perpetrators of sexual violence against the women in adulthood were mostly by individuals known to the victim, such as a partner or spouse. Childhood sexual assault was perpetrated mostly by relatives and non-family persons known to the victim. Of those who experienced sexual assault, 87.5 percent experienced at least one other type of victimization; physical violence was the most common form of co-occurring victimization (60.2 percent). Of the women who had been sexually victimized, 66.5 percent sought some form of help. Approximately 21 percent sought one or more types of formal help, with the most common type of help being medical services. Only 6.6 percent of the women contacted police; 7.1 percent obtained a restraining order, and 6.1 percent pressed criminal charges. The study recommends using medical settings as an intervention point for educating the larger Latino community about available services. Trained professionals from an experienced survey research firm conducted phone interviews in either English or Spanish from May through September 2008. 29 tables, approximately 118 references, and appended SALAS survey and research methodology description.





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