EVERYONE can help support the fight against sexual assault. By taking part in just a few simple strategies, we can all do our part to stop sexual assault. The It’s on Us campaign identifies the following four responsibilities that everyone can and should take on to fight sexual assault.
1. Recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
2. Identify situations in which sexual assault may occur.
3. Intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
4. Create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported. (It’s On Us)
You have the power to make a difference! Here are six additional ways you can help raise awareness about sexual assault and work to prevent it.
1. Educate Yourself (and Others) about Sexual Assault
Simply by educating yourself and sharing that knowledge with friends and family helps raise awareness about sexual assault. For some important information and statistics about sexual assault and child sexual abuse, click here. For more great information and resources, visit RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) or NSVRC (National Sexual Violence Resource Center).
Volunteering is a great way to get personally involved in the cause in your own community. There are hundreds of ways to volunteer and just as many organizations that need you! Excelsior has tons of volunteer opportunities through which you can support survivors of child sexual abuse – find out more here.
Some other volunteer options include staffing a support hotline, helping raise awareness and improve safety measures on college campuses, or even hosting your own educational or advocacy event.
3. Engage the Community
Consider motivating prevention efforts in your local community. Encourage college faculty and staff to raise awareness about sexual assault and increase safety measures on campus or talk to bar owners about educating their employees on how they can help prevent sexual assault.
4. Talk about it on Social Media
Connect with organizations that support the cause and share resources to help spread awareness. @Excelsioryc is posting important information and resources about the cause throughout April – Sexual Assault Awareness month. @RAINN01 is also a great resource – follow and use the hashtag #ActWithRAINN to talk about the cause. @NSVRC is another great resource – throughout April, they host a twitter discussion every Tuesday at 11am PST. Chime in or follow the conversation with #TweetAboutIt.
5. Learn How to Help Those Who Experience Sexual Assault
Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do or say to a loved one who has been victimized by sexual assault. Start simply by listening – many people just want to be heard and are not searching for advice or comments. Offer up your support as well as professional resources, but be patient and considerate – don’t try to force them into it if they’re not ready for it. If they are ready to seek professional help, offer to go with them and be there for them.
Most importantly, NEVER QUESTION someone who has been sexually assaulted. Do not ask what they were wearing or why they couldn’t stop it. Often, the most important thing for a survivor to hear is, “I believe you.”
If you an unable to volunteer or take any other action to support the cause, consider donating to a nonprofit organization that works to prevent sexual assault and/or provide support to survivors. Most of these organizations rely heavily on monetary donations to survive, including Excelsior.
Did you know nearly a third of Excelsior’s girls are survivors of child sexual abuse? In addition to the specialized treatment programs Excelsior offers for these girls, Excelsior is launching a new program called the PEAK project (Prevention of Exploitation through Awareness and Knowledge). This project will focus on treatment, education and intervention for young girls who have been exploited. Consider donating to Excelsior to support our survivors and/or the PEAK project as we work to prevent sexual assault, exploitation and human trafficking. Donate here or contact Nicole Wolf for more information – Nicole.Wolf@ExcelsiorYC.org / 303-693-1550 ext. 303
We hope you will join us during Sexual Assault Awareness Month to help spread awareness and prevent sexual assault. Together we can work toward a safer community for all.