Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 5.23.08 PMA study conducted by Marquette University offers insight into why many victims don’t report incidents of sexual assault. Researchers analyzed interviews with 100 young people between the ages of 3 and 17 and found young women fear being labeled a “whore,” believe men can’t help themselves, and view many inappropriate acts as “normal.”

“They grab you, touch your butt, and try to, like, touch you in the front, and run away. But it’s okay, I mean…I never think it’s a big thing because they do it to everyone,” says one interview subject.

So the young women opt to just endure or ignore the behavior.

Additionally, many of the girls doubt anything outside of forcible heterosexual intercourse counts as a sexual offense.

Girls also don’t support other girls when they report sexual violence, according to the study. And with the fear of being called “slut” or “fast,” coupled with possible accusations of exaggerating or lying, chances of young women reporting sexual abuse are slim.

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  • Mary Burrell

    “A girl child ain’t safe in a family of men” Sophia from “The Color Purple.”

  • Anthony

    Children have to be taught to keep their hands to themselves, and adolescents have to be taught how to acceptably express sexual curiosity. I know unwanted touching is sexual assault, but I think grabbing and touching among kids is a gray area. It can range from sexual playfulness to clear transgression of boundaries. At a certain level inappropriate behavior of all kinds is normal until kids internalize acceptable standards of behavior. Both boys and girls have to learn how to express and accept interest or attraction.