How to support loved ones during Sexual Assault Awareness Month

published in The Lily ·

Plus, a list of resources that can be helpful for everyone

Apr. 1, 2021

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month: an event intended to create space for survivors’ voices, shed light on the insidious nature of sexual violence and amplify calls to action. But this month-long focus on sexual assault can be painful for survivors.

“We have all these events and opportunities to dialogue and create awareness, which is wonderful,” says Jennifer Storm, a survivor of sexual assault, victims’ rights expert and author. “But at the same time, we have to be really mindful about how all of that heightened awareness and education is like a downspout to survivors. It’s really hard to escape it, especially with social media.”

Given the staggering number of survivors in the United States alone — on average, there are more than 430,000 victims of rape and sexual assault each year in the country, according to RAINN — there are millions of survivors who may be dealing with the effects of sexual trauma. That means you probably know someone who has experienced sexual assault.

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