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  • Writer's pictureREACH of Clay County

Sexual Assault Awareness Month - Reduce Your Risk

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Sexual assault and physical abuse are never a survivor’s fault nor their responsibility to prevent it. However, it is not uncommon for a survivor to look back and wonder how they could have missed the signs. Having the foresight to spot warning signs before one’s life is in danger can be an invaluable skill. Some of it comes from listening to your gut while other signs are more visibly apparent. The transition from love to control to violence can be slow and inconspicuous.

There are a number of factors suspected to contribute to the likelihood of someone becoming abusive. Knowing the signs may help identify risks related to potential partners. Some of the identifying factors are:

  1. A history of sexual assault

  2. Being sexually or physically abused as a child

  3. A lack of coping skills

  4. Low self-esteem

  5. Codependent behavior

  6. Untreated mental illness

  7. Drug or alcohol abuse

  8. Financial pressures

  9. Prior criminal background

Some warning signs and having the knowledge to spot the signs before one’s life is in danger can be an invaluable skill. Some identifying signs are:

  1. Feeling like you’re being controlled

  2. Forcing you to do things sexually that you’re not comfortable with

  3. Your partner telling you how to dress

  4. Who you can see and talk to

  5. Whether or not you can have a job

  6. Your partner restricting your access to money.

Additionally, having a partner who constantly puts you down or calls you names and a general sense of not feeling safe would be real red flags.

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