Sexual Assault Awareness Month - April 2022 Part 4

I want to give a context warning of what will be talked about in this post, so you are able to take care of yourself in the best way possible. During the month of March, our posts will be highlighting the importance of Sexual Assault Awareness month and how we can be effective advocates, organizational leaders, and support systems to survivors. Please take care of yourself as this is heavy content to read about and discuss. If you need immediate support please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1 (800) 656-4673 (available 24/7).

Sexual Assault Awareness month.

A month that is so real and vulnerable.

A month that can be triggering for survivors of any form of sexual violence.

A month that brings raw emotion and memories that are unwanted.

A month in which we are reminded of how cruel the world can truly be.

A month in which we are reminded that safe spaces are not always safe.

A month in which we are reminded that people we may have trusted, violated it, causing pain.

A month that resonates with me and several others that I know, all too personally.

Why is sexual assault awareness month important?

Because women can’t walk down the street without being catcalled or being sexualized.

Because sexualizing someone else’s body is seen as a compliment and when it makes someone uncomfortable, we tell them that they should be grateful for the compliment instead.

Because when survivors try to report any form of sexual violence, their credibility is often questioned.

Because when survivors try to report, the experience of navigating the justice system can be just as traumatizing.

Because when an act of sexual violence takes place, it impacts the survivor for the rest of their lives without it being their choice.

Because the justice system fails survivors case after case, completely invalidating their experience.

Because when I first tried to report, I wasn’t believed.

Because when I tried to report, I was told that it was my fault that nothing took place afterwards because I didn’t advocate adequately for myself.

Because when I shared my experience with investigators, they used my vulnerability against me and hid their findings from me even though they promised to share them with me.

Because sexual violence is so much of a part of everyday life that we turn our heads in hopes that someone else will speak up.

Because everyone deserves a safe space to share their story when they feel they are ready.

Because every survivor deserves justice.

Sexual Assault Awareness month.

A month in which we amplify the voices of survivors, hold predators accountable, and call out the systems that continuously fail to provide safety for survivors.

A month that reminds us of the importance of continued advocacy past the month of April.

Because everyone deserves to feel safe in this world.

To search for additional support groups and resources near you, search here.