The month of April is dedicated to raising awareness about sexual violence— a pressing concern, given that an American is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds. Every single one of us can, and should, play a role in preventing sexual assault.
How You Can Help
- Support survivors. First and foremost, believe them and let them know that they are not alone. Offer to accompany them or give them a ride to seek immediate medical attention or longer-term psychological support. Be careful not to pressure them to do anything that they are not ready to do.
- Create safe environments. Implement or advocate for zero-tolerance policies in your school or workplace. Provide specific training on how to prevent sexually aggressive behavior on a consistent basis.
- Learn and teach about consent. Understand that anyone who is being pressured, coerced, or manipulated cannot give consent, nor can anyone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also be aware that consent can be revoked at any time.
- Speak up when you believe someone may be at risk of being sexually assaulted. Step in to make sure that the person is safe, and if necessary, get help to do so.
Where You Can Get Help
- The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). This hotline will connect you with a local sexual assault service provider that will be able to provide confidential support and connect you with further resources. This service is available 24/7/365.
- The Shelby County Crime Victims & Rape Crisis Center provides 24/7 sexual assault forensic exams (rape kits), as well as other services such as crisis intervention, court accompaniment, trauma counseling, support groups, and many others. All of these services are confidential and completely free.
- Sexual assault is a crime, and you have the right to decide to report it to the police and press charges against the person who assaulted you. If you are in immediate danger, dial 911. If not, you can dial the non-emergency line at (901) 545-COPS (2677).
WSC is also always here to support you— to schedule an appointment, please call the clinic at (901) 306-5433. As always, stay healthy and stay safe!
–The Wellness & Stress Clinic Team