Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 23% of women and 8% of men over 18 years old experienced sexual violence. Offenders touch their victims intentionally, verbally abuse them or force them to engage in sexual contact. It can happen to anyone: men and women, young and old, as shown by the numbers. It’s a terrifying experience that can cause physical and mental damage.
To help sexual assault victims, the authorities and other groups provide:
- compensation for their medical treatment to treat sustained physical and mental damage and any loss of income. For example, in Australia, the financial assistance ranges from $15,000AUSD to $150,000AUSD.
- emotional support from volunteers and other entities that can remind them that life is still worth living and that there’ll always be people who believe in them
- prompt response to bring offenders to justice by filing charges in accordance with the law.
While doing these noble deeds, authorities should keep the victims’ privacy. Although they need to build a case to fight against sexual violence, revealing the victim’s identity isn’t necessary. Getting sexual victims’ identities exposed may put their lives at risk and gain criticism from the public.
Do you know someone who fell victim to sexual assault? Are you a service provider for victims of sexual assault? Check out these tips to help protect their privacy:
Keep The Story From The Public
People who fall victim to sexual assault may find it challenging to share what happened to them. They’re afraid that once someone knew their story, they’d be put to shame and found dirty.
Overwhelming anxiety and depression for having their lawsuits neglected and misjudged by the authorities and responding to reports that they ‘liked’ what happened to them may hinder victims from filing sexual abuse claims with institutions ready to help their case. Many start to become hopeless and give up, thinking of taking their lives or neglecting their bodies for being ‘unclean.’
Because of all the ostracism and discrimination, sexual assault victims need someone to trust and share their stories to. If someone reaches out to you to share their story about them getting abused, that means that they feel that you’re trustworthy.
Ensure that they’re talking to the right person and suggest some course of action to help them in earnest. They need lawyers who can help them find justice and protect their rights along the way. They can learn more about getting justice through this video:
Instead of bringing the story out to the public, you can also assist the victim in reaching out to your local community hotline for victims of sexual assault. Apart from finding the right person to talk to about the case, victims need psychosocial intervention to address whatever issues surfaced because of the situation. One of the aftermaths of assault is usually strained relationships, both with the self and other people.
If you noticed many documentaries featuring sensitive content, you might have seen interviews with abuse victims. Dangerous entities who want to take advantage of sexual assault victims might identify the victim’s location, identity, and family right away. Victims might even be blackmailed in exchange for keeping their identity secret. You never know the types of predators who could be out there.
To protect victims’ privacy, aliases must be used instead of their real names. An alias is an assumed identity. It’s convenient to let victims use another name and share their stories without exposing their real identity.
If you’re a journalist and have sexual assault victims to interview, assure them that you won’t use their real name to protect their privacy.
Blur Their Images
Victims of sexual assault know that their lives can be in danger once they share what happened to them with authorities, particularly when suspects are still at large. To help victims share their stories without exposing their identity, you may consider recording them. Blur their faces by editing the video that you made. You can also use a dark angle where the victim’s silhouette is the only thing visible. Avoid showing anything in the video that’ll be a way to identify the victim, especially for their offenders.
It’s not the victim who must take the blame for the assault but rather the offenders. Victims deserve every help they can get to recover from such an unfortunate event in their life. Help secure sexual assault victims’ privacy by doing the tips mentioned in this article. Don’t let the story spill out to the public, use aliases when referring to them in public and blur their images in interview or coverage videos.