In 2009, President Obama signed a proclamation to make April the National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Our favorite president understood the need to come together as a nation in an effort to help the victims heal and become survivors. Today, let us honor his legacy by participating in the National Sexual Assault Awareness Month Day of Action.
Brace yourself because this issue might hit close to home. Every 98 seconds another person in the US is sexually assaulted, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
After a sexual assault occurs the survivor has choices. The first way to take back power is deciding whether to report or not. There are several ways to report.
- When in danger, call 911.
- Directly call or visit a local police station. Some law enforcement agencies have a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) or specific officers trained in helping sexual assault survivors. The statutes of limitation vary by state, type of crime, age of the victim, and other factors.
- Find a medical center and ask for a sexual assault forensic exam. To find a local health facility and other resources provided to survivors, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE) accessible 24/7 and online.
RAINN helps find services such as crisis intervention, 24-hour sexual assault hotlines, medical and criminal justice accompaniment, advocacy, and counseling locally around the nation.
Sexual Assault Survivors need their community to hear them out. Stop with the victim blaming. Asking questions like what they were wearing or how much they had to drink isn’t helping anyone. Reassure survivors; it’s not their fault. Provide a non judgmental ear to those in need.
Reach out to organizations and projects working to eliminate sexual violence in your area.
The Fourth Annual Lace Up for RAINN 5k Race is open now. Runners can come out to Washington, DC, or participate “virtually” right in their own neighborhoods. The virtual 5k allows you to gather up friends and family to walk, run, or bike a 5k wherever you live.