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How does literacy relate to sexual violence?

It is important to understand the connection between sexual violence and the ability to read and write. Many adults with limited reading and writing skills often struggle economically, are unemployed or working in jobs with low pay (Bureau of Adult Basic and Literacy Education, 2005).

People with low reading and writing skills often have less control over their own lives, less understanding of their legal rights, low self-esteem, lack of leadership and ultimately a higher risk of sexual violence.

Sexual violence at a young age also can interrupt or interfere with a victim’s education, causing a downward spiral for many victims/survivors and even failure to finish high school. Without a high school diploma, a college degree and reading and writing skills, many victims are unable to compete for well-paying jobs. Victims/survivors often find themselves trapped in low-paying, service sector jobs and unable to meet their most basic needs.