By Kat DeSantis, NFTY Pennsylvania Area
Count 98 seconds. That is the amount of time between one sexual assault and another in the United States alone. Think of 1000 people. Out of every 1000 rapists, only 6 serve time in prison. Another 8 minutes pass by, and a child becomes victim to sexual violence. That leads to 63,000 children a year who have been taken advantage of, sexually abused, and mistreated. On college campuses alone, 20% of women and 4% of men will experience sexual violence, and ⅔ of the rapists are serial rapists, averaging 6 rapes a year. These statistics are staggering, and yet they do not fully cover the extent of the problem. The people who have become victims to sexual violence are not numbers, statistics, or quantitative data – they are individuals who have been robbed of the freedom over their own body, robbed of their voice, and traumatized by a situation they did not consent to or “ask” to be apart of. The importance of bringing awareness to the impact of sexual violence in America needs to be addressed, and we all need to learn more about how to help prevent sexual assault and bring true justice to the victims and rapists involved.
As NFTYites, we play a role in addressing sexual violence. We are social justice advocates, and we stand up for human rights and equality. As part of the Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force, NFTYites from all across North America are stepping up to help end sexual violence. Many of the committee members have worked on various projects such as creating sample D’Var’s, putting together fact sheets, writing informative one-pagers, and building the resource bank by sharing programs, flyers, and articles on sexual violence prevention. Although this work will be proactive in combating sexual violence, our efforts will continue until we see all humans being respected, listened to, and advocated for in order to create a more just and peaceful world. All across NFTY, our teens are standing up to make a difference and kindle a kehilah kedoshah, or holy community for everyone.
To learn more about the SVPTF, contact Zoe Terner at firstname.lastname@example.org or Adam Friedman at email@example.com. Also, check out our sexual violence prevention page online at NFTY.org/SVP. For more facts, hotlines, and prevention tips, see RAINN’s (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) website or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE).