5 Ways to Better Advocate During Sexual Assault Awareness Month
By: Lex Wurth
As April comes to an end, we’ve been reflecting on the start of spring and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Don’t get us wrong– raising awareness for sexual assault is an incredible first step, but it shouldn’t end there. Here are 5 ways you can advocate for sexual assault survivors, and help with assault prevention.
1. Educate yourself and your community!
Take the first step into advocacy by reading up on how sexual assault impacts the community. Learn about how poverty, race, gender, and class play into the experience of sexual assault survivors. Learn about what laws your state has in place for protecting survivors, and preventing sexual assault. To find your state laws, click here.
2. Volunteer or donate!
After educating yourself and those around you, take the next step and volunteer or donate at your local organization that works to end sexual violence. Taking small steps in your own community can leave great impacts for survivors. Some organizations need help with collecting goods or monetary donations, while others may need childcare and housekeeping services. Volunteer work helps in the aid of putting an end to sexual assault. To find a local organization you can volunteer at, click here.
3. Lobby your Representatives!
Find out who your state representatives are, and contact them to discuss new bills and laws that affect survivors of sexual assault, as well as that aid or deter from sexual violence prevention.
4. Vote for your local school board!
Get involved in local state politics, if you’re able; and vote in the school board election. School board members are major decision makers determining what is offered in school curriculums, including sexual education. Advocating for a comprehensive sexual health education in schools is a great place to start! Comprehensive sex-ed programs focus on healthy relationships and consent practices, and can start teaching students as young as kindergarten.
5. Be a good ally!
Lastly, be a good ally. Be that person that people can feel safe to come to if they need help. Don’t judge, don’t prod for answers, just listen and ask how you can help. Offer to give them resources, but never be forceful, and never go behind their backs. Be a friend.