April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. How do we put an end to sexual assault?
We start by believing survivors.
Start By Believing Day, the first Wednesday of April, is an opportunity to show support for survivors of sexual violence, and spark conversation around the social change needed to put an end to sexual abuse.
Why believing survivors is crucial:
- Sexual assault survivors are less likely to disclose to others if they receive a negative reaction, such as being blamed, doubted, or shamed.
- Less than half of sexual assault survivors seek medical care – support of friends and family often contributes to a survivor’s decision to seek services.
- Very few survivors (5-20%) report their assault to law enforcement.
- In one study, 63% of sexual assault survivors did not report their assault due to fear that they would be blamed for it.
How do we initiate change and create a supportive, safe environment for survivors to disclose?
Three simple responses to a loved one’s disclosure of sexual assault:
- I believe you.
- I’m sorry this happened.
- I am here for you.
Know someone impacted by sexual assault? Wellspring supports survivors through free, confidential, and non-judgmental services and programs. Our hotline is available 24/7 at 518-584-8188.
We believe you.
Read more about Start By Believing Day here.