Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness MonthApril is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It is an issue that is EVERYONE’S issue, as it affects both men and women.

This month, take time and make a point to be aware of your surroundings and your community members. Also be available to help those who are victims. We can’t end Sexual Violence unless we commit to being aware and getting involved.

If you know someone who has been a victim, getting them to a trained professional such as a police station, hospital, or crisis center is imperative. There are trained advocates that can provide the survivor with:

  • Accompaniment to the hospital, during the rape exam and to the police station;
  • Information about reporting procedures and what to expect
  • Legal advocacy and court accompaniment
  • Emergency crisis intervention, counseling, and referrals
  • Counseling for the victim’s partner, spouse, or family
  • Assistance in finding care for children
  • Information about sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and pregnancy testing.
If you are assisting a sexual assault survivor remember to:
  • Listen without judging
  • Let them know the assault was not their fault
  • Let them know they did what was necessary to prevent further harm
  • Reassure the survivor that he or she is cared for and loved
  • Encourage the sexual assault victim to seek medical attention
  • Encourage the survivor to talk about the assault with an advocate, mental health professional, or someone they trust
  • Let them know they do not have to manage this crisis alone.

If you or someone you know is a victim, you can get help by calling the Rape Crisis Center of San Diego.
24-Hour Toll Free Crisis Line:  1-888-DVLINKS   (385-4657)
Coastal Location: 858-272-5777
La Mesa Location: 619-697-7477
North County Location: 760-747-6282

You can also get more information on Sexual Assault at the National Center for Victims of Crimes  http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentID=32369

-V. Jones

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