How can sexual assault survivors find a path to healing even when justice isn’t served? Host Sammy Caiola and Data Reporter Emily Zentner help us understand survivor experiences in the immediate aftermath of sexual violence and during police investigations.
You’ll meet women searching for inner strength and legal resolution amid trauma, experts looking at the cracks in a law enforcement system that rarely yields rape convictions or even charges, detectives trying to solve some of the most difficult cases on their desks and community advocates pushing for a future where survivors feel heard and empowered.
Start By Believing
Many survivors don’t report sexual assaults because they fear no one will believe them. There’s a culture of disbelief that is pervasive in the media, pop culture, politics and law enforcement. Advocates say better training and resources for police could help survivors heal — and lead to more solved cases.
Your Brain On Rape
The way a survivor is questioned about the details surrounding a sexual assault can greatly influence their ability to access memories of that traumatic incident. Better interview techniques and the presence of an advocate during questioning could actually help survivors remember more of the assault, and lead to more solved crimes.
A Question Of Evidence
Survivors say the meticulous medical exam that some sexual assault survivors undergo can be taxing and retraumatizing. But the DNA samples collected become evidence that can make or break an investigation. There are ways to process those samples faster, which can reduce stress and frustration for survivors.
Many survivors who decide to report their rapes don’t necessarily get justice. They must navigate the complicated maze that is the investigation process for sexual assaults. Law enforcement representatives say these cases are hard to solve and harder to prosecute, and that there are ways to change the system to better support survivors.
Living With Trauma
You may know someone living with the trauma of sexual assault. Roughly 44% of women and a quarter of men have experienced sexual violence. There’s no timeline for healing. The survivors in this episode have spent months and years finding ways to make themselves feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.
Guide To Being An Ally
You might feel at a loss If someone comes to you for support after they’ve been sexually assaulted. What you do and say in the immediate aftermath can help, or make things worse. When podcast host Sammy Caiola asked survivors to interview the friends and partners that they turned to, the conversations revealed how their relationships were tested and strengthened. Being an ally takes patience, honesty and commitment.
This podcast is so helpful i just wanted to say thank you.