The instance of sexual assault in the United States is growing at a rate that would surprise, even alarm, many people. According to Shannon Nix, associate director of sexual assault and violence intervention and prevention at the University of South Carolina, one in four women - and one in six men – will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. This high number doesn’t mean more assaults are happening, however. Nix said it seems that way because more people are reporting it.
That’s a good thing, according to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, who is most concerned about the crimes that are not reported, as he says non-reporting is the biggest hindrance to preventing assault. There’s a continuum of degrees of sexual assault that stretches from lesser offenses like cat calling all the way to rape. Education about things like how to make good decisions and being aware of one’s surroundings is the key to reducing sexual assault, said the sheriff, adding that educating oneself can help reduce many of the problems that law enforcement is called to deal with in today’s society.