If you’ve been around me for even a tiniest amount of time, you probably know that I am deeply passionate about many things. And one of those things is sexual assault. Sex is such a wonderful, beautiful thing in marriage whereas sexual assault just leaves people broken, damaged, and hurting.
I got excited when I learned about the 1is2Many campaign to help end sexual assault from the White House. I know a lot of people have issues with the current administration, but I don’t think everything they do is bad, even though I certainly disagree with some of the choices they make. But this campaign is definitely a step in the right direction.
They filmed a PSA which you can see below.
Their website also lists simple steps that everyone can take.
Support all survivors regardless of their gender or identity. Listen to their stories without judging or blaming. Offer to go with them to seek resources and services if they want them.
Speak up if you hear comments that promote violence against women. Be aware of language that you use that degrades women and survivors of other identities. Don’t be afraid to be an active bystander and intervene if you believe violence is occurring and it is safe for you to do so.
Be a role model for healthy relationships. Always treat others with respect and expect the same from others. Mentor and teach younger people to also act as role models.
Join an organization that is working to end dating violence and sexual assault. Don’t have one in your community? Start one!
I think these are some great suggestions. Listening, the first one, is so huge! Too many people unfortunately brush off stories of sexual assault and refuse to believe them, especially if the perpetrator is someone they know. Or, if they do listen, sometimes they blame the victim, which is also not okay. The second one, speaking up when you hear people talk negatively, is also huge. We need to have a shift in our culture in our whole attitudes about women, treating them like the beautiful people God made who deserve respect. The third one – role modeling healthy relationships is also super, super important. Too many kids nowadays are growing up without seeing healthy relationships in their lives and that combined with the kind of unrealistic relationships that you see on tv and the movies and their idea of what a good relationship looks like is all distorted. I have always said that I want my marriage with Nick to be able to be an example to our kids and to others of what a good, healthy relationship looks like. And the last one is also a great suggestion – it is always good to find ways of getting involved in your community.
The website also recommends two apps that can be useful in letting people know your whereabouts and in getting help in the event of an emergency. The apps are Circle of 6 and On Watch. While I have not used either of those apps, both of them seem like they would be good apps if you are looking for an app of that nature. Circle 6 is available for free on the iTunes store and the google play store. On Watch has a free 30 day trial, otherwise it’s a paid subscription service, though the Call 911 and Call Campus Police features remain available for free forever if you choose not to pay.
The website also has a page with a lot of links to resources. Now, I did not sit there and comb through all the resources with a fine tooth comb, but I recognize quite a few of them. It includes sections of resources for teens, parents, schools, and communities, as well as some general information resources.
One is truly too many. No one should have to face such a horrible thing. People should be able to feel safe where they live, work, and play. I dream of a day where our communities are safe enough that we don’t have to have these apps and such because they aren’t needed, because sexual assault is a thing of the past, because women are respected and treasured. I know that is unlikely to happen because we live in a broken, sinful world, but if we can prevent even just one or two or three people from being sexually assaulted, it’s worth it.
If you are in need of assistance you can reach the dating abuse hotline at 1-866-331-9474 or by texting ‘loveis’ to 22522. And of course, if you are in immediate danger, please call 911.