If you have followed our social media or website for any length of time, you have noticed that we recognize certain awareness months that align with our service areas: Human Trafficking (January), Sexual Assault (April) and Domestic Violence (October). There are other awareness months that we recognize but these are the main three. A good deal of time and planning goes into creating the right message or theme that will grab audience attention and increase their awareness on the issue itself, steps they can take towards prevention, and how to support survivors.
For 2022, we have chosen “What we wish you knew…” as the central theme for all our primary awareness months. It’s a simple message that drills down to some uncomfortable messages. The messages you will see used this month come directly from the people providing counseling to victims/survivors. Some of these messages will make you angry, some will make you think. It is our hope that all of them will educate you on the devastating effects of sexual assault, not only on the victim/survivor but on their friends and family and the community at large.
When we complied our messages for this month, we had more than we could use for our social media posts. Below, you will find the answers to the question “what do you wish people knew about sexual assault” that we just didn’t have enough days in the month to post.
What we wish you knew about Sexual Assault:
“Sexual assault does not mean it has to be intercourse or include intercourse.”
“The presence of alcohol should not lessen the severity or validity of a victim’s claim of sexual assault.”
“Sexual Assault is not a gender crime; it is a person crime.”
“No is an answer. It doesn’t have to be a whole sentence. It doesn’t have to be justified or backed up by anything. No is enough by itself.”
“What happened to you does not define WHO you are.”
“A sexual assault victim never gets over the fear of being sexually assaulted again.”
“Because parenting is a learned behavior, some adult survivors of sexual assault have difficulty teaching their children about safe sexual behaviors. I don’t know how to, so I can’t teach you.”
“Sexual assault trauma can cause problems recalling details. Memory is affected where events may not be recalled in order, events may not be complete when trying to remember, and details might change. Some memories may return later—days, weeks, or months later. To others who are not aware of how traumatic events affect memory, survivors may be seen as unbelievable.”
“SA can happen to anyone. You’re not alone. Counselors are available to help you deal with the feelings you may be experiencing in a safe and confidential setting.”
“Sexual Assault is more likely to be committed by someone the victim knows.”
If you or someone you know/love/interact with has been a victim of sexual assault, we are here to help 24/7/365. Our help is always free and confidential. You can reach our 24-hour resource hotline at 334-263-0218.