Sexual Assault Awareness for Latinas

By Jenay Wright — Day by Day many individuals spend their time fighting to end the act of sexual violence. This is a major issue that has always been around for some time. It sits on the minds of many while they question when will this cruel act end. The only way, is to continue to take the initiative to raise consciousness about the topic of sexual assault and inform those on ways to protect themselves.

697px-Teal_ribbon.svg This is why the month of April is dedicated to bringing attention to this matter. It is an essential for Sexual Assault Awareness Month until women feel safe and men learn no to not sexually assault women and vice versa. April isn’t the only time of year we should pay attention to this issue, it should be year round.

We must take time to recognize this matter and not overlook something that is real and occurs to many innocent people each and every day. If anything it should encourage females who are mostly targeted at and as Latina women to take control of our life. For the reason that sexual assault is present in our community and to women of color over-all. According to Rape Response Services ( RRS) , 1 in 7 Hispanic women has experienced  rape at some point in their life and over half of Hispanic women has experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime.

Latinas are often seen as only seductive. We are oversexualized in the media and known to be just exotic. These myths may perhaps contribute to why sexual violence happens to Latina women. This isn’t the reason why some Latina women are being attacked. Since this is a perception that some individuals may have about our women it could cause some men to think that this “sexual act” is acceptable. We must show that these perceptions are false and that Latinas are strong and are a courageous group of women who are more than just sexual objects.

Many women of color have been victims of sexual assault.  This is a subject that should no longer be unnoticed.

The University of Michigan’s Student Life Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center says that assumptions about race makes women of color vulnerable to sexual assault. These acts are seen as tolerable or acceptable by some because of the stereotypes about women of color which tends to rationalize sexual abuse against our women.

It’s about racism, sexism and power.

As Latinas we must educate ourselves so that we can better protect our bodies and the rest of our community. The only way to change the problem is to raise awareness.

Jenay Wright is a journalism student at Columbia College Chicago. She is a New York City Native with Afro-Latina roots.

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