Sexual Assault Rate Essay Sample Assignment

Measure/Data Collection: What Data Needs to be Collected

When collecting data on the prevalence of individuals among the psychiatric population whom are at risk of being sexually assaulted, it is imperative for one to understand and interpret statistics. By analyzing the statistics and data, an overall solution can be formulated to where a change can be implemented for the population which can in turn decrease the rates of sexual assault on average. According to studies conducted by Desmarais et al. (2014), individuals of the psychiatric population are victimized alarmingly at rates higher than the rates of perpetration (Desmarais et al., 2014). In this study, rates were analyzed and revealed that individuals of the mental illness population were at a 23 times higher rate of likelihood to being victimized compared to the national population (Desmarais et al., 2014). 30.9% of participants in the study stated there was at least one incidence of being violently victimized within their own communities with the rates of prevalence corresponding to 17-56% (Desmarais et al., 2014). From this study it can be observed that individuals within the mental illness population are more likely to be victimized than being the perpetrators within violent acts (Desmarais et al., 2014). Significant links to victimization identified in the literature included female gender, history of child abuse, and depression (Roy, Crocker, Nicholls, Latimer, & Ayllon, 2014).

Based off these statistics, sexual assault can also have detrimental effects within the patient population. Kanamüller, Riala, Nivala, Hakko, and Räsänen (2014), studied the negative effects of sexual abuse on 300 adolescent girls who were currently within a psychiatric inpatient unit (Kanamüller, Riala, Nivala, Hakko, & Räsänen, 2014). 26.3% of the adolescent population revealed that they themselves had been sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, with several currently inpatient for posttraumatic stress disorder, suicidal behaviors and tendencies, and self-mutilating behavior (Kanamüller et al., 2014). According to the authors, these children were assaulted by someone they knew and based off their studies, has incorporated the rates to helping hospitals and clinics identify sexual abuse victims, and ones that are at a higher risk of being victimized (Kanamüller et al., 2014).

Ideal Target / Benchmark? Why?

Sexual assault is a common problem that is discussed in the media, but as Khalifeh, Moran, Borschmann, and Dean (2015) explain, several individuals are not aware of the extent of increased risk among individuals with mental illnesses (Khalifeh, Moran, Borschmann, & Dean, 2015). In their study, within the year of 2015, 10% of the mental health population reported sexual violence had occurred and suicide was attempted at a rate of 53% compared to 3.4% of the general population (Khalifeh et al., 2015). As one can see from this data, an ideal target or standard for this at-risk population is to decrease the prevalence of sexual assault rates among the psychiatric community. Based off this knowledge, it is necessary to focus on reducing the prevalence of sexual assault rates among the psychiatric community as this can be linked to a decrease in suicide rates, less psychiatric hospitalizations, and other acts of sexual abuse occurring (Khalifeh et al., 2015).

Data Collection Process. Who Will Assist You?

To obtain further data and comprehension of this issue a personal interview with the Director of Nursing at Western State Psychiatric Hospital in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Western State Psychiatric Hospital is a 240-bed inpatient hospital that treats adults of the mental health population who may be a danger to themselves or to someone else (Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, 2017). As a past admissions nurse, it was known that this facility’s patient population consisted of individuals’ whom had been sexually abused in their past. On July 20, 2018, April Huycke was interviewed to obtain statistics of patients admitted with a history of being sexually assaulted within the psychiatric setting over the past six months at Western State Psychiatric Hospital. April disclosed that over the past six months, it has been documented on admission assessments that 38% of the new admissions reported a history of sexual assault (Huycke, 2018). April noted that this statistic has remained consistent throughout the years analyzed and that the hospital is focusing currently on identifying assessments to screen patients at the time of admission as often patient’s do not reveal past trauma and then is discovered as a major qualifier for their suicidal tendencies in which they were admitted (Huycke, 2018). April stated that within the next few months, the quality team will be initiating a new screening technique but at this time could not disclose any further details (Huycke, 2018).

A literature review was also conducted to identify data correlated to this issue. According to Kulkarni (2013) 85% of female inpatients revealed that they did not feel safe while hospitalized in a psychiatric facility, 67% reported sexual assault history, and 45% reported being sexually assaulted within the admitted facility (Kulkarni, 2013). In this report, it was noted that the patients did not inform the nursing staff of the assaults in-house as they felt nobody would listen to them (Kulkarni, 2013). To elaborate more on individuals with mental illnesses not reporting sexual assault, Ormon, Sunnqvist, Bahtsevani and Levander (2016) conducted a questionnaire that revealed sexual assault being the least reported type of abuse, and that 44 participants of the medical staff revealed they lacked awarenes of any of the patients’ experiencing sexual abuse in their past (Ormon, Sunnqvist, Bahtesvani, & Levander, 2016). Actions need to be taken to prevent violence and help protect this at-risk population.

Sexual Assault In A Workplace

Sexual assault in workplaces has been dramatically rising in recent years. In 2016, the EEOC released an In-depth study of workplace harassment in the United States, which concluded that “anywhere from 25% to 85% of women report having experienced sexual harassment in the workplace”. This census increased dramatically in the past 4 years and is rapidly increasing to this day (Stoeki 1). To be more specific, what does it mean to sexually harass someone? According to the EEOC, sexual harassment is defined as, “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.”(EEOC 2) Recently, an uprise of sexual assault allegations has surfaced, with actors, influencers, athletes politicians, and even students being accused of sexual harassment and making headlines. For example, Matt Lauer, the esteemed “Today Show” host was fired when,” NBC had received a complaint from a colleague about “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,”(Usbourne 1) NBC did not bother to do an investigation before firing the host who began working at NBC 66 years ago. Because sexual harassment claims are often settled behind closed doors, there’s little opportunity to understand and learn from what’s happened. Even if details are shared, people tend to focus more on the salacious detail than any lessons that can be learned. In this research paper you will find out why sexual assault occurs in a workplace, how it affects the victims and perpetrators, and resolutions created by influencers and ways to prevent this from occurring.

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault in work-based areas has become an epidemic affecting many workers, with 91% of females getting assaulted and only 9% of men getting assaulted. As women gain greater equality in the workplace, it might be assumed that the instances of sexual harassment in the workplace would diminish. However, the causes of sexual harassment are complex and hard to identify, and sexual harassment remains prevalent in modern society. Women’s increasing presence in the workforce has meant that men and women work together more closely in the twenty-first century than at any other time in history. In fact, there are fewer and fewer ‘male only’ professions as women become much more fully integrated into all corners of the workforce. According to one researcher, ‘one effect of the breakdown of the sexual division of labor is the expansion of opportunities for sexual conflict in the workplace’ (Browne 145). As workplaces become more co-ed, the environment itself can also amount to unlawful sexual harassment where it’s sexually permeated or hostile. This could include a workplace where pornographic materials are displayed or a culture where offensive jokes, sexual banter, and crude conversations are the norms. According to a survey done by Phillips and Associates, nearly ⅔ of workers claim to have seen or experienced something inappropriate in a workplace ( Phillips 1). For example, Two women — former NBC journalist Linda Vester and an unnamed woman who previously worked as a production assistant at the network — accused Tom Brokaw of making unwanted sexual advances. Vester said the veteran NBC News anchor tried to forcibly kiss her twice and groped her once, while the production assistant said Brokaw suggestively invited her to his office to discuss her career. This behavior is very common amongst colleagues in the workplace and often goes unnoticed.

Impact of Sexual Assault

When sexual assault occurs in a workplace, many victims tend to be quiet about the situation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports receiving 12,000 allegations of sex-based harassment each year, with women accounting for about 83 percent of the complainants. That figure is believed to be just the tip of the iceberg. In a study issued last year, the co-chairwoman of a commission task force said that roughly three to four people experiencing such harassment never tell anyone in authority about it. Instead, they said women typically “avoid the harasser, deny or downplay the gravity of the situation, or attempt to ignore, forget, or endure the behavior.”(Engel 1) Another case may be that one of the primary reasons women don’t come forward to report sexual harassment or assault is emotion. Emotion is at the core of the intense emotional wounding women and men experience when they are sexually violated. As an expert on shame Gershen Kaufman aptly stated in his book Shame: The Power of Caring, “Emotion is a natural reaction to being violated or abused. In fact, abuse, by its very nature, is humiliating and dehumanizing.”(Kaufman 123) This is especially true for sexual violations. The victim feels invaded and defiled, while simultaneously experiencing the indignity of being helpless and at the mercy of another person. A question to ask is, when do victims come out? Just because a victim doesn’t come forward right away about sexual assault doesn’t mean the accusations are untrue, said Yolanda Moses, a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Riverside and a consultant/trainer for preventing sexual harassment and sexual assault. Indeed, there are many reasons why victims of sexual assault may hesitate to speak out immediately after an incident. Society tends to blame victims — female victims, in particular — for what happens to them. ( Moses 11). In several recent rape cases, for example, the victim was accused of ‘ruining’ the man who committed the assault ( Moses 14). In September and October of 2018 Brett Kavanaugh, an American lawyer and jurist was accused of sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford, who came out during the time of Kavanaugh’s inauguration into the Supreme Court, stating that 36 years ago Kavanaugh assaulted her at a high school party claiming that “ it drastically changed her life” (BBC 1). This shows how an alleged victim may take a long time in order to come out and may need a trigger such as being exposed to the perpetrator online, or even in person again.


As sexual assault continues to become more frequent, many influencers created unions and movements to help bring to cause this problem and find ways to prevent it. A new movement called TIME’S UP, where more than 300 women in film, television, and theater joined together to forge this movement, with aims for a “unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere.”(Krovosky 2) Led by women, TIME’S UP not only aims to raise awareness of sexual harassment across industries but also to provide the tools to systematically eliminate it. Partnering with advocates for equality and safety, the effort strives to “improve laws, employment agreements, and corporate policies. Furthermore, they aim to help change the face of corporate boardrooms and the C-suite and enable more women and men to access our legal system to hold wrongdoers accountable.”(Krovosky 7) Another movement that has become popular among victims is the #MeToo movement, where victims of sexual assault spread the hashtag in order to raise awareness. In December of 2017, the hashtag was retweeted more than 1.2 million times, and in January of 2018, it was retweeted almost double (Noal 1). But ‘Me Too’ dates back to long before 2017 and 2018: Coined by community organizer and activist Tarana Burke more than a decade ago, the phrase originally had a particular focus on the stories of young women mostly girls of color. The goal of the movement, more largely, is to create change in our culture regarding how we prevent, and respond to, sexual harassment and sexual violence. As more and more people are beginning to discover the dilemma that is occurring, there is more push towards resolving it.


Sexual assault in a workplace has become a huge epidemic in recent years, with renowned politicians, actors, anchors, and influencers being accused of sexual assault and gaining a ruined reputation including Lauer, Brokaw and many more. Victims often do not come out immediately, hoping to forget about it. When they do come out, the predator, especially famed people, are put under fire and often resign or are let go. As sexual assault becomes more and more prominent, movements have surfaced such as the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, advocated by actors and influencers who have experienced some type of sexual assault. While more cases of sexual assault occur, whether it be a well-known influencer or not, many are taking precautions and are taking steps towards diminishing and prosecuting those who commit these crimes.

Horton Hears A Social Injustice

Dominated by momentous events such as World War I and II, space exploration, and decolonization, the 20th century significantly changed the history of the world and gave way to a new era of passionate leaders and critical writers. This age brought about political reforms and passive resistance evolving into progressive movements, but still bore witness to terrible tragedies such as racial and gender injustices, as well as the Great Depression, which caused devastating repercussions for the entire world.

Writers at the time took advantage of these harsh conditions, and let them inspire their writing, using words to convince their readers to take action against problems in society and politics. One such person was German-American social activist and writer, Dr. Seuss, who used his quickly growing platform to pose his main argument: the only way to progress is to take a stand for what he believes is right. Known today as one of the world’s best children’s authors for conveying controversial topics at an adolescent level, Dr. Seuss expresses his unyielding democratic and moralist views through these whimsical books, driven by his supportive upbringing from his parents and exposure to prejudice at a young age, demonstrating his advocacy for political and social changes in even his most famous works. His didactic books and satirical pieces are cherished to this day and his underlying messages on important topics influence the minds of children every day. Born on March 2, 1904, to Theodor Robert Giesel and Henrietta Giesel, Dr. Seuss, previously known as Theodor Seuss Giesel, enjoyed a relatively normal childhood, raised by exceptionally supportive parents. His father was the superintendent of a zoo near his family’s house and his mother loved to “encourag[e] him (Seuss) to draw animal caricatures on the plaster walls of his bedroom”, leading Seuss to adore creating wild and imaginative characters from a young age (Childhood 2).

Throughout his adolescence Seuss was surrounded by his parents, who became positive influences on not only his artistic and literary works but also his overall worldview, giving him a sense of stability and purpose in his books, even his most fantastical ones. Although he may have endured hardships later on in his young life, his perseverance derived from his loyal and devoted parents guiding and spurring on his creative energy from a young age encouraged him to never concede his beliefs just because he faced obstacles such as prejudice because of his nationality. During and after the second World War, German-Americans faced considerable prejudice and became separated from society, greatly affecting the next generation of these immigrants, one of which was Theodor Giesel himself. People became biased against the Giesel family, using them as scapegoats to express the contempt they felt against Nazi Germany. Consequently, this escalated to instances such as bullying or verbal assaults against Seuss in and out of school, causing him to hold a grudge against those who treated outcasts with cruelty. He became very sensitive to topics such as racial and religious injustices in society, and found a creative output for all of his views: children’s books. As shown throughout almost all of Seuss’s literary masterpieces, the author takes great pleasure in embedding political and social messages into these colorful lands, teaching his young and impressionable audience what he believes to be right and wrong. By using engaging rhetoric to enhance the story while still conveying his clear message, Seuss is credited as both a phenomenal children’s writer and outspoken political activist, a difficult feat to accomplish.

One of Seuss’s earlier books, Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, shows a plea from the powerless and abused to stand up for themselves and to learn to be assertive when it comes to protecting their beliefs. While it may not have been as popular as titles such as Green Eggs and Ham or Cat in the Hat, Seuss still taught people important values through amusing characters such as Thidwick the moose and an engaging storyline. Seuss utilizes pathos to cause the reader to empathize with Thidwick when other animals take refuge in his antlers and cause him pain for their own personal benefit (1 Seuss 40). Although this kind moose is allowing them to take shelter in his antlers, they do not show their gratitude, instead causing the poor animal harm, leading readers to sympathize with Thidwick, symbolic of the powerless everywhere. Employing pathos strengthens Seuss’s argument that kindness is not an action that should ever be taken for granted by placing the reader in the point of view of the powerless and used, leading them to empathize with those who are oppressed and to make a change in their own lives and the lives of others. Additionally, Seuss advocates for the powerless and the governed in the book Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, using symbolism to encourage those without a voice to make progressive changes in their life and addressing the reader directly in the form of rhetorical questions to put the power of change in the hands of the reader. Thidwick, burdened with the weight of many animals resting in his antlers, makes a choice and sheds his old antlers and his unwanted residents and leaving them behind to start a life that benefits him (1 Seuss). These antlers that are shed are symbolic of an oppressive agent, such as an organization or government, deteriorating to make way for a more open and accepting way of governing, clearly displaying Seuss’s argument that those who feel as if they are silenced should rise above their suppressors and take a stand for what they believe in.

In Seuss’s case, this oppressive factor was the government forgetting the importance of the masses and making illogical decisions that do not benefit the general public. Another book the German-American wrote to emphasize the importance of individuals in a community getting an equal voice is Horton Hears a Who!. In this classic children’s story, Horton protects and eventually saves Who-ville, a tiny town located on a clover, from destruction, and once again Seuss’s argument that all people should have a voice of equal weight is clearly evident in this beloved story. In this tale, however, the author takes this idea and contributes to it further, claiming that the importance of anything should rely on existence alone, not size or standing in a community. This point is illustrated in the book’s most famous quote: “A person’s a person, no matter how small” (2 Seuss 3). Although this quote is said by Horton himself and may not occur during any pivotal moment in the book, Seuss is still speaking via his whimsical characters to simplify a complex fact of life that many adults to this day still do not understand how to respect. Furthermore, Giesel appeals to men and children alike to help solve the problem of unequal representation in the world and makes his plea even more powerful through his evocative skills of rhetoric. Throughout the compelling story, Horton Hears a Who!, Seuss utilizes cogent rhetoric to encourage others to use their prominent voice to make an impact on other’s lives. He employs the voice of the Whos, especially Jo-Jo, the young Who that cried out and proved the existence of his town, to symbolize the voices of average citizens who are ignored and ridiculed during times of great social discord, such as the McCarthy Red Scare during the Cold War era (2 Seuss 72). Jo-Jo, representative of people in society who do not fight for their beliefs, shows young children the importance of speaking out for what an individual believes to be morally right, teaching them that even one small voice can have an immense impact on the rest of the world. Seuss shows the younger generations that even though sitting idly by while the world is changing may seem like the easier option, fighting for beliefs and using a voice as a platform for reform can leave society permanently changed for the better. While it is evident that Dr. Seuss is an avid proponent of stating one’s opinions to incite change, he also advocates for a non-materialistic approach to happiness and discourages the exclusion of others based solely on different opinions.

In his unique Christmas story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Giesel makes evident his disdain for people who isolate others only based on a difference in characteristics or opinions, instead advocating for inclusion and happiness based on friendships and interactions with others. The Grinch, Seuss’s representation of people who are viewed as outcasts of society, despises Christmas and wishes to rid the town of any signs of the holiday, and – according to his logic – the Who’s happiness. Once viewed as an outcast, the Grinch wished to destroy other’s joy because he was not included in the activities that caused them to feel this way (3 Seuss 2). This demonstrates Giesel’s argument that when shunned and ignored by society, people who are excluded tend to lash out in a negative manner to seemingly “get back” at those who ignored them in the first place. However, once society accepts these isolated individuals despite a different outer appearance, such as the Who’s inviting the Grinch to Christmas dinner, everyone will understand more fully the importance of embracing other’s differences and finding happiness in the company of others, not in the judgment or prejudice against diverse people. Additionally, Seuss uses descriptive imagery to juxtapose the two worldviews of the Whos and of the Grinch. In How the Grinch Stole Christmas, a beloved children’s book that teaches the importance of inclusion and acceptance of others, Giesel utilizes rhetoric in the form of imagery and tone to describe the contrast between the citizens of Whoville and the Grinch. The opposition between the verbs and actions of the different characters exemplifies this point clearly. The book displays multiple accounts of the Grinch “taking” something, or acting in a way that makes the reader perceive him as a villain. The words hate, snarl, sneer, growl, and slither are all used by Seuss to make the reader see this character as one of bad intentions, causing the tone to be dark and brooding, confirming this notion when he writes: “He slunk to the icebox. He took the Whos’ feast! He took the Who-pudding! He took the roast beast!” (3 Seuss 56). Dr. Seuss juxtaposes these despicable actions against the wholesome verbs describing the Whos: feasting, singing, dreaming, and playing are all used to describe the actions that the Whos carry out, all of which are happy and bright. By setting these characters apart not only in morals and appearances, but in actions as well, Seuss illustrates his point that different people have different worldviews, and leaves it up to the reader to decide why the Grinch and the Whos act in the manner that they do. Giesel carefully chooses every word and literary device in his books to enhance the experience of reading for children and to subtly include important life lessons in his works.

One of Dr. Seuss’s most important legacies is carried out through children who read his books worldwide. He used descriptive language and invented new and whimsical words to engage his young audience and communicate his desire for change, environmentally, socially, and politically. Many times, children’s books are meant simply to entertain the young readers and develop their easily influenced minds, but Seuss’s easily recognizable characters made reading fun for kids, as well as teaching them universal themes in a relatable setting (The Legacy of Dr. Seuss 2). Giesel was able to teach children how to handle different challenging situations through funny animals and made-up worlds, and his lovable books inspire people every day to read and become strong advocates for what they believe to be right. Additionally, Seuss was able to change the face of children’s literature permanently through his goofy storylines and absurd scenery, disguising important learning objectives for adolescents in whimsical stories. Before Seuss published his first book, And to Think I saw it on Mulberry Street, literature aimed at children had only been made to teach a lesson at school, or how to properly obey the rules of society. However, Giesel changed this with his imaginative and inventive books, turning children’s literature from simple and straightforward to thrilling and engaging for adolescents (Theodor Giesel 3). His books bravely covered more modern and controversial topics than any children’s work had before, inspiring other authors to break away from the monotonous tone that was previously taken when educating children. Seuss used his platform as a well-known and beloved author to reach people across the globe, inspiring others with his optimistic outlook on life to stand up for what they believed to be true, and creating thought-provoking quotes to encourage leaders to guide with their morals. Dr. Seuss fought to change the way society perceived children’s books and how to teach kids controversial topics and used his social standing to advocate for political and social reforms during times of distress.

His supportive parents, along with the harsh discrimination he endured during his adolescence inspired his creativity and drove him to write for children. He used strong literary devices in his works, engaging his youthful audience and encouraging them to enforce change in their own lives, inspiring people across the globe to make a difference, even if it is only a small one. He is now one of the most famous authors in the world, and his words have left a lasting impact on every person who reads his books, “no matter how small”.

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