With April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we want to tell you about the resources that are at your disposal if sexual assault were to happen to you or someone you know. There are many organizations that can help you cope with and process what has happened regardless of whether or not you want to disclose the assault to authorities. Once you recognize that what has happened to you is, in fact, assault (which can understandably be very difficult to accept at times), it’s important you reach out and get the help you need.
If you’re a woman, non-binary, trans, or queer person, then we don’t need to tell you how harrowing the statistics on sexual assault are — we live with the knowledge that at any moment we could be next. But, statistics are sobering and that knowledge is good tool to have in your arsenal, especially when trying to help another person who has been sexually assaulted.
According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), every 98 seconds an American is assaulted, and every 8 minutes that victim is a child. Women on college campuses are especially at risk, with 1 in 5 college women experiencing sexual assault.
And it’s not just colleges where the risk of sexual assault is horribly high. 80,600 incarcerated individuals, 60,000 children, 321,500 adults and 18,900 military personnel are sexually assaulted every year.
Being sexually assaulted is an incredibly isolating experience that can feel shameful, and as a result of that shame many people don’t seek out the help they need to heal. But there are places that you can turn to, and in the spirit of knowing that one size does not fit all and that everyone has different needs, we’ve come up with a list of organizations that can provide you with support should you or a loved one need it.
Here are four organizations you can turn to if you’re a survivor of sexual assault.
RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, is the United States’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. They created and operate the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country. RAINN provides support to victims as well as carrying out programs to prevent sexual violence and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.