Voices Against Violence: Survivors Coming Forward

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During Sexual Assault Awareness Month it is important, to not only spread the word of the alarming prevalence of sexual assault, but to listen to the voices of survivors as well. Many use their voices to stand up against rape culture and to empower those recovering from similar situations. We encourage survivors to use their Voices Against Violence!

Rape culture is our societal acceptance of rape as pervasive and thus normalized due to attitudes about gender and sexuality. It makes victims feel guilty about what they were wearing, where they were, and how they were acting, versus making rapists feel guilty about sexually assaulting someone. More and more voices are joining together to fight rape culture in the U.S. and around the world. It is important that both men and women feel safe anytime and anywhere!

Powerful Survivor Testimonials  - #EmbraceYourVoice

“Women are strong and capable. We don’t need the protection of men. We also don’t need their pity or their platitudes. We are not victims.” - Jenny Halasz, excerpt from “I Am Not a Victim

“My assault gave me a new way of looking at my surroundings. I could be angry at my perpetrator and a lot of days I was. Slowly over time, I realized he was a part of a greater problem. He was a result of a society and a culture that created him, a society and a culture that told him that his actions were okay. Achieving justice for me meant attempting to have an impact on that culture.” - Jacqueline Reilly, excerpt from “What Being a Survivor Has Taught Me

“What keeps me going is knowing that I’m doing this [fight for justice] on behalf of so many women out there who do not have justice. I just want to keep telling them, if we don’t keep hitting the wall, the wall won’t come down.” - Lucy, excerpt from “Lucy’s Story

“The real healing was achieved when I started to sincerely believe I’m not responsible for what happened to me.” - Keith, excerpt from “Keith’s Story

Encouraging Survivors

Project Unbreakable

Project Unbreakable is a photography project aiming to give a voice to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. Survivors can send in their own pictures holding quotes from their abusers to show others that they are not alone.

IaMheR Movement

IaMheR is a project that encourages survivors to share their experiences, recovery, and hope that follows. Sinead O’Donoghue founded the movement and focuses on the power that comes from sharing stories and breaking the cycle of silence to push for change.

RAINN Survivor Stories - Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network

RAINN publishes stories of brave survivors that volunteer to share their experience and recovery to empower others. RAINN also created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

SAAM Dates to Remember:

April 8: 33rd Annual New York Crime Victims Candlelight Vigil

April 8-14: National Crime Victims’ Rights Week - Take time to honor and thank those who have established past and current victim’s rights, while taking steps in your community to make sure everyone has access to victims’ resources when needed.

April 14: NYC Teen Dating Violence Awareness 7th Annual Walk-a-Thon - Register for the yearly walk to join in raising awareness of the horrible, but real crimes affecting youth everywhere.

April 18: Voices Against Violence Gala -  Join Day One at the Voices Against Violence Gala, a benefit to end dating violence among youth, honoring Teen Vogue.

April 25: Denim Day - Wear jeans on Denim Day to stand against the misconceptions surrounding sexual assault and victim blaming.

Resources

Remember to never force someone to talk if they are not ready. Just let them know you are there for support whenever they need it. If you or someone you know needs help, here are a few resources:

  • Day One: 800-214-4150

  • Visit our Get Help page if you or someone you know needs help

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-4673

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