Study: Sexual Violence Prevalent Among NYC Youth
June 24, 2008
Most Students Violated At The Hands Of Someone They Know
Reporting: Cindy Hsu
NEW YORK (CBS) ― A disturbing report has been released on the number of New York City high school students who have experienced sexual violence.
"We found one in six high school students had at one time experienced sexual violence," said Deborah Fry of the Alliance. "That was really shocking."
More than 1,400 students at four city high schools took part in the study conducted by the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault.
"The high rates in New York City are almost twice the national average," added Fry.
The study also found 89 percent of those who said they'd experienced sexual violence were attacked by someone they know.
The students were talking about sexual violence they suffered both at home as well as at the hands of people they were dating.
"We have this image about sexual violence occurring by strangers on the street or in a dark alley, but it's really happening to youth by people they know and often trust," said Fry.
Jean Sung was 14-years-old when her boyfriend, who she'd known since kindergarten, started abusing her. Sung shared her story to CBS 2's Cindy Hsu.
"He would hit me or punch me when he was drinking, so it was difficult," said Sung.
Sung didn't tell anyone about the abuse, until 5 years alter when she was in college.
"I was isolated, and sort of kept this all to myself so I could protect him and so that I could pretend everything was okay in my life, when really it wasn't," added Sung.
Experts say many victims never report sexual violence, because they don't want to punish their abusers by going to police, but now there's a way to get protection without going through the criminal system.
New York State passed a law on Monday aimed to make it easier for people in dating relationships to get an order of protection.
They can now go through family court instead of talking to police. Victims advocates have been working on getting this law passed for 20 years.
The study took three years to complete. Additional information is being researched to determine why the ratio of sexually assaulted students to those who are not is so high in New York City specifically.
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