|April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Part of raising awareness around sexual assault is not only highlighting the work being done to bring it to an end, but also focusing on supporting the health and well-being of survivors. Especially during these weeks of uncertainty and isolation, we know that the pressure experienced by survivors of violence can significantly increase. |
Pain and trauma can thrive in isolation. Here are some tools—words, actions, and resources—to help guide you during these difficult times.Regularly and repeatedly check-in with yourself. Ask yourself, how is your mind and body—what emotions are you feeling? Common responses to trauma include tension, fear, anger, sadness, and maybe even feeling unsafe. Remind yourself that what you are experiencing is a common response to a traumatic event. If you are feeling in any way unsafe, reach out to a friend or a therapist to help create a safety plan. There are many medical professionals engaging in e-services — don’t let a quarantine keep you from getting the care you need. Having a good source of support can make a difference in the healing process.
Know that your feelings are real, and be gentle with yourself in processing them. There are no right or wrong responses when coping with trauma. Allowing feelings to surface can make it easier to cope with them, but there are other helpful ways of addressing thoughts and feelings about a situation, such as talking, journaling, drawing, or creating art. Think about creating daily practices like exercise, relaxation, or breathing routines to help release tension and reduce stress.
Resources are available. Despite quarantine orders, hotlines to provide support to survivors are continuing to operate. Make sure that you reach out for help if you need it: Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
1 (800) 656-4673
www.rainn.orgNational Domestic Violence Hotline
1 (800) 799-7233
www.ndvh.orgNational Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
1 (866) 331-9474
www.loveisrespect.orgNational Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1 (800) 273-8255
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgWe hope these tools are useful as you navigate your path towards healing. Follow along on social media throughout the month of April as we share more information and resources to raise awareness about sexual assault.
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