Students are more at risk of assault and rape
‘Too few victims seek professional help’
Young adults between the ages of 12 and 24 are four times as likely to have a sexual assault or rape. This is shown by figures from the Center for Sexual Violence (CSG). Although expert help is available there, only a very small percentage of the victims report to professional emergency services. That is why the Center for Sexual Violence in Friesland is starting a campaign among students on Monday the 10th of December.
‘Students are vulnerable’, says Gerda de Groot, project manager at CSG Friesland. ‘Because of their age they are part of the risk group that was mentioned earlier. In addition, a lot of alcohol is often drunk among students. And that makes the risk of sexual violence even greater. We know from research and experience that there must be victims within the student community, but don’t see them within the Center for Sexual Violence.
Survey among Frisian young adults
A survey conducted last year by CSG Friesland among Frisian youths shows that they mainly seek help in familiar circles. Of the 410 respondents (67% female, 33% male) 86% indicated that they wanted to seek help after an experience with sexual violence, 14% indicated that they did not seek help.
The young people who do seek help indicate that this is mainly done by parents, friends or family.
‘Careful’, says De Groot. ‘Because the consequences of an assault or rape can be very heavy if professional help is not called in on time. Someone can even have life-long complaints, and the chance of a repetition of sexual violence is also very possible when nothing has been done with the complaints.
“According to De Groot, it can be explained why soms victims don’t report te crime. ‘If you have just experienced a sexual assault or rape, you want to forget it as quickly as possible. Often there are also feelings of guilt and shame. And the fear of not being believed. All things that ensure that victims generally seek help long after the assault happened. In many cases only when they can not function normally due to their trauma is when they go out to seek professional help.
Seek help within seven days
The Center for Sexual Violence indicates that it is important to seek help within seven days of a sexual assault or rape.
De Groot: ‘Within that time, you have the best chance of a psychological recovery, of preventing pregnancy and venereal diseases and finding marks of the assault on your body – which increases the chance of finding the perpetrator. In other words: the sooner you seek professional help, the better.
Many people do not know this. That is why we regularly hold campaigns, this time aimed at students. They need to know where they can get help. Also if it is not for themselves but for a friend who has experienced something so terrible.
Center for Sexual Violence Friesland
The Center for Sexual Violence offers help day and night to anyone who has recently experienced a sexual assault or rape. A place where medical and psychological care and forensic research are offered immediately. There are centers throughout the country so that victims of sexual violence can receive the same help everywhere.
At the CSG Friesland, Fier and the Medical Center Leeuwarden work together with police Friesland, GGD Fryslân, Safe Home and Victim Support Netherlands (Friesland region).
The CSG can be reached via telephone number: 0800 – 0188.