3 Ways to Support Sexual Assault Survivors On Campus

Sexual assault awareness shouldn’t stop after a few Facebook shares or Twitter retweets. Supporting our survivors comes with being a constant ally.

We hear that word a lot, don’t we? The word “ally.” What does it really mean to be an ally for our friends who come to us crying, our sisters, our professors or ANY of our fellow Hokie women? Other than offering our open ears or protesting and spreading awareness on social media (which I do believe is helpful), there are ways to get involved in organizations that are larger than life, some of them even happening on our campus.

Related image1. Get involved with SAAM

SAAM, or the national Sexual Assault Awareness Month, occurs this upcoming April 2019. There are many ways that SAAM organizes leading up to April, including sending out FREE SAAM Action Kits. “These kits have everything you need to get your community or campus engaged in raising awareness about preventing sexual assault and harassment. The kit includes sample resources, a campaign sticker, an event planning guide, social media toolkit, poster, and merchandise overview” (NSVRC). If community organizing isn’t your thing, you could sign up for SAAM updates that keep you updated on any local events, protests or marches!

 

Caroline English (@carolineenglish1) speaking at Take Back the Night, March 2018

 

2. Get involved with “Take Back the Night” at Virginia Tech

Take Back the Night is a wonderful event put on by the United Feminist Movement at Virginia Tech. The event is a clothesline project that raises awareness of gender-based violence, and is held across hundreds of campuses. During this night, many high-up faculty members show their face in support of the survivors here on campus, and all over the world. There are tons of ways to get involved in the promotion, planning and organizing of this event, be sure to stay updated with their social media! The event typically takes place in March of each school year.

Image result for RAINN day pictures

3. Get involved with RAINN

RAINN, or the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network, is a large organization that has a multitude of ways to support survivors and become involved. Some of their support includes sponsoring the National Sexual Assault Hotline, offering policies and laws on sexual assault for each state (see Virginia’s here!) and helping survivors recover and report their abusers. Similar to SAAM, RAINN has a Student Activism program that allows students to bring awareness to their campus. You can join RAINN Day, “an annual day of action to raise awareness and educate students about sexual violence on college campuses” (RAINN), with free print materials, planning guides and social media graphics. If anything, educator your fellow peers by spreading the RAINN word and participating in the conversation.

 

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