Sexual assault cases raise awareness; How to prevent, cope with sexual assault

Nearly 1 in 5 women; 1 in 71 men raped in US

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Two Bakersfield families are moving after an unknown man allegedly broke into their homes and sexually assaulted them.

Although it hasn't been confirmed, investigators believe the two cases are linked.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives.

In a survey done by the National Institute of Justice, it was found that most victims were raped by just one person over their lifetime. Among woman rape victims, 78.2 percent were found to be raped by one person, and the rest were raped by multiple people. Among men, 83.3 were found to be raped by one person.

In the same survey, it was found that most people knew their perpetrator in some way. The survey showed that only 16.7 percent of women raped were raped by a stranger and 22.8 percent of men were raped by a stranger.

Despite the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator, the NIJ said that sexual violence can negatively impact a victim in many ways including physical, emotional and the development of health behaviors like smoking and alcohol abuse, according to the CDC.

The CDC's website said the ultimate goal is to stop sexual violence before it begins and many things can be done to prevent such crimes, such as:

--Engaging students in mentoring programs that address healthy sexuality and dating relationships

--Creating and enforcing policies at work, at school, and in other places that address sexual harassment

Local law enforcement reminds the public to lock doors upon entering homes or vehicles, traveling in groups of two or more, and being aware of your surrounding.

The suspect of the two cases that are possibly connected is described as a dark-skinned man, standing at about 6-feet-tall with a medium build.  

If anyone has information on this case they are asked to call the Kern County Sheriff's Office at 661-861-3110 or the Bakersfield Police Department at 661-327-7110.

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