April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and 2021 marks the 20th anniversary. The annual campaign is to raise awareness about sexual assault to educate individuals on the topic.
Thousands of women and men are sexually abused each month and many feel as if they have no one to turn to or anywhere to go. Just like any other trauma, it is easier to cope with when you have someone supporting you, but many do not know where to go. Below includes hotlines as well as other resources that help victims of sexual assault recover and take back your life.
Loveisrespect was created as a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline along with Break the Cycle. It includes advice on healthy dating as well as a hotline to help with support, safety planning, calling the police, documenting abuse and more. If you are in a situation where you cannot call, they have a text option by texting “lovies” to 22522. For more information, visit https://www.loveisrespect.org/.
The National Center for Victims of Crime is a nonprofit that works towards rebuilding victim’s lives. They provide a variety of services such as treatment, advocacy, legal aid and many other resources. For more information, visit https://victimsofcrime.org/.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is free and available 24/7 in both English and Spanish. They also provide a chat option that is available 24/7 as well. There are also multiple resources available such as specific state counseling services and shelters. Also, they provide many resources to learn about healthy relationships, recognizing abuse and boundaries. For more information, visit https://www.thehotline.org/.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) provides a free, confidential and 24-hour hotline. RAINN works with more than 1,000 local sexual assault services all across the United States. They provide guidance and resources to those currently experiencing sexual trauma, as well as if it happened a long time ago. For more information, visit https://www.rainn.org/.
The Ani-Violence Project (AVP) is the biggest anti-LGBTQ+ violence organization in the United States and has a mission to empower everyone in the community. Their vision is to have a society where every individual in the LGBTQ+ community feels safe and respected. AVP is free for everyone and is open 24-hours, 265-days-a-year for survivors. For more information, visit https://avp.org/.
Shelters, Counseling, and Support Resources
Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS) offers a wide variety of services and centers for deaf individuals who have suffered from sexual abuse. Some of the services provided include short and long-term crisis counseling, group counseling and client referrals. ADWAS also provides a hotline where you can call at 206-812-1001 or email at [email protected]. For more information, visit https://www.adwas.org/.
Domestic Shelters provides a database of shelters for those seeking them from domestic violence. They have information that can help those suffering from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. For more information, visit https://www.domesticshelters.org/.
Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA) is an organization working on policy change as well as supporting women of color affected by sexual abuse. They provide information on where local organizations are that are dedicated to helping sexual assault survivors. For more information, visit https://sisterslead.org/.
The Breathe Network provides victims of sexual assault to professionals and organizations that offer holistic healing. Some of the healing art provided by the Breath Network include yoga, sound healing, acupuncture, and art, music, and color therapies. For more information, visit http://www.thebreathenetwork.org/.
Always remember that you are never alone. While it may seem daunting to reach out to a friend or family member, there are other resources available to help you get there. No matter how long it takes to talk to someone, always know that you are strong and you are brave.
For more information about Sexual Assault Awareness Month, please visit https://nationaldaycalendar.com/sexual-assault-awareness-month-april/.