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face-1617558_1280Every 109 seconds, a person experiences sexual assault! And do we talk about this?

If you listen to the news, you have probably heard a number of cases of sexual assault on college campuses. Sexual assault awareness has grown with the implementation of Title IX on college campuses. And yet, it is estimated that 80% of college sexual assault goes unreported.

Most people associate Title IX with college athletics as it is a federal education amendment act (1972) that protects people from discrimination based on sex in educational programs or activities that receive federal funds.

But Title IX is not just about sports. It also addresses sexual discrimination, misconduct, harassment and sexual violence. It can include such behavior as date rape, bullying, stalking, domestic violence and more. Basically, it is any sexual behavior that occurs without consent of the other party. And it applies to both genders.

From a Christian world view, sexual assault is a sin against a person. It is a violation of boundaries and another person’s body. It is also a sin against a relationship because it violates the command to love one another as oneself   and destroys trust and relationships.

The fall out can be devastating, sometimes lasting years or even a lifetime. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, eating disorders, substance use, suicide, shame, guilt, loss of self-esteem and worth are just a few of the possible consequences that follow and need treatment.

Sexual assault is about power and control over another person and should be reported and dealt with in and out of the church. To begin the conversation, we need to acknowledge sexual assault as a real problem in our culture and welcome those who have been victims into our churches and direct them to help.

If you or someone you know has suffered sexual assault, know you are not alone, there are people trained to help you and walk you through the healing process. Find a Christian counselor who specializes in sexual assault and trauma. Get help today. And if you are a college student, report any violation to your Title IX office. Their purpose is to investigate and provide resources.

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