April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The theme this year is “It’s time … to get involved.”
Here is some information from the website :
” The April 2011 Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign focuses on everyone speaking up to prevent sexual violence in our neighborhoods, communities, workplaces and schools. The 2011 national Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign explores common, everyday behaviors and offers individuals viable, responsible ways to intervene. This primary prevention approach helps to create environments where people are safe in their relationships, families, neighborhoods, schools, work places and communities.
This year’s SAAM brings together resources and information, thus offering everyone the opportunity to address behaviors before sexual violence occurs.
This year’s campaign, “It’s time … to get involved,” incorporates a bystander approach to sexual violence prevention. A bystander, or witness, is anyone who sees a situation but may or may not know what to do, may think others will act or may be afraid to do something. Research shows that engaging bystanders is a promising way to help prevent the widespread problem of sexual violence in communities.”
You can visit http://www.nsvrc.org/saam/current-campaign for more information.
This is a topic that I can relate to. I guess you could say I am a survivor. My mother and father divorced when I was 11/12 yrs old. My two younger sisters and I would visit our father every other weekend. One day after sledding we went to get out of our wet clothes in his room(it was a one bedroom apartment) he followed us in and undressed too. I knew it wasn’t right and I grabbed my sisters and ran to the bathroom with them and locked us all in there.
When we got home that weekend, I told my mom and she immediately called the police. Nothing actually happened, but thinking about it later, I realized there were other little gestures and touches leading up to it that I just didn’t register.
I went to lots of counseling over the years and learned to deal with what happened. Though nothing serious was allowed to happen(others have suffered much worse), it was still a huge betrayal of trust.
This is the first time I have shared this publicly. I have told select people throughout my life, but it was not something I wanted to be public knowledge. It has been something that I have been ashamed of, but I realize that I shouldn’t be ashamed. It isn’t something that I did, it was done to me. So that is why I am stepping forward and sharing in hopes that it will help someone else to be able to come forward about what has or is happening to them.