April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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More than 237,000 Americans are sexually assaulted each year: That is one every two minutes. Emergency physicians are often the first people to see a sexual assault survivor in the minutes and hours following an attack.

"In many cases, we are not only responsible for treating the patient for injuries," said Dr. Alex Rosenau, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.  "We are also initially responsible for counseling the patient through a horrific moment and helping investigators collect evidence and hopefully bring the perpetrators to justice."

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and provides another opportunity to bring to focus, and ultimately end, sexual violence in the United States.

Sexual Violence Statistics:
Nearly 1 in 5 women reported being raped at some point in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 1 in 71 men reported the same thing.

42 percent of females were first raped before 18 years of age with 30 percent of them reporting being raped between the ages of 11-17.

From 2004-2006, approximately 105,000 females and 6,500 males between the ages of 10 and 24 received care in US emergency departments as a result of injuries from a sexual assault, according to the CDC.

Rape results in about 32,000 pregnancies each year.

It's essential to seek medical care as soon as possible following a sexual assault.  Even though a person might not have visible injuries, they still might be at risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease and women may also be at risk for pregnancy. Call 911 immediately to report this attack to law enforcement.

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE for help and support.


Source: American College of Emergency Physicians, acep.org