April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month
By Jillian Bullock
If you’ve purchased my memoir, HERE I STAND or seen me on TV you already know that I was raped at age 11. Due to my inability to channel the anger and emotional pain, I often got into fights at school and my grades from honor roll started to fall. I kept my feelings to myself because I felt I couldn’t really talk to anyone. At this time I lived with my family, including my white stepfather, who was a member of the Philadelphia Italian Mafia. He was the only person I told about the incident. Next thing I knew the guy who assaulted me was found dead, with a single bullet to his head.
Although my rapist was now dead, I still struggled to move on. I started training in Tae Kwon Do at age 12 in an attempt to ease some of the emotional pain and to learn focus and discipline. My fighting at school stopped and my grades improved. However, that one single act completely transformed my life, and especially my relationships with men.
The thing about being a survivor of a sexual assault is that the emotional scars often take years to heal. Some women never do recover. They may seem great on the outside and go on to achieve success in various areas of their lives, like I did. However, being a victim of rape or sexual assault the wounds are often much deeper and can lead to destructive habits, like drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness, getting involved in toxic or abusive relationships, problems dealing with social situations, and much more. Today, as someone who is a Professional Life Coach and studying psychology all the time, (I’m working on obtaining a Ph.D. in Psychology), I have found that these behaviors are a result of feelings of depression, low self-esteem, unworthiness, guilt, and a lack of confidence.
- 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime
- Every 35 seconds a woman is raped somewhere in the United States.
- One in four college women report surviving rape (15 percent) or attempted rape (12 percent).
- Rape victims have been found to be 8.7 times more likely to attempt suicide.
- 64% of women who reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked since age 18 were victimized by a current or former husband, cohabiting partner, boyfriend, or date.
- More than 70% of sexual assault victims know their attacker.
- 1.3 women are sexually assaulted every minute.
- In a single year, over 90,000 women in the United States report a rape to law enforcement officials.
- Each year, it is estimated 25,000 American women will become pregnant following an act of sexual violence.
- Girls ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape or sexual assault.
- 7% of girls in grades 5-8 and 12% of girls in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused.
As you can see from the stats this is a serious epidemic our country is facing. Many of you who are reading this fall into this category – a survivor.
As the creator of Fighting Spirit Warriors, a fitness for self-defense program for girls and women, it is my mission to help females learn the skills and techniques necessary so hopefully they will never become a statistic.
Ladies, if you are in the Philadelphia area, please go to -http://www.jillianbullock.com - and click on Events to find out information about my Fighting Spirit Warriors workshop on April 21.
If you don’t live in Philadelphia but you would like to host a workshop in your city, the website will provide you with information on how to book me. I travel throughout the country as a way to make my services available to all.
Learn how to be “Fit 2 Fight To Have A Safe Life!”