At the BRCC, we believe in the power of our voices and yours. We believe that until we HAVE eliminated the epidemic of sexual violence in our world (why stop at 17 counties?!) we have a critical role to play in advocating on behalf of and with survivors and our communities for better understanding of this issue and improved responses to those who have experienced sexual violence.
We listen to survivors. We hear what their needs are. We show up for survivors. We are there at the hospital when a survivor decides to share what they have experienced and pursue medical care or the prosecution of their offender. We are there at the police department and in the courtroom when survivors face an intimidating criminal justice system or, worse, the person who hurt them. And we work with survivors to establish and achieve their individualized goals. When a survivor tells us she was fired from her job following her assault, we work with her to address this issue. Sometimes that means having a conversation with her employer or helping her draft her own letter. When a survivor tells us he has received a bill for his sexual assault forensic exam, we connect him to and advocate on his behalf with the folks who have the power to change that. We might call the hospital billing department or Crime Victims’ Compensation to address the error. When a survivor is struggling to access critical follow up medical care, we work with them to find providers who will be sensitive to their experience.
We work in our community to shift attitudes and behaviors regarding sexual violence. We speak out for better institutional responses. We work with our hospitals, our police departments, our prosecutors’ offices to ensure that when a survivor does meet the professionals working in these fields, it won’t be the first time they’ve had to think about the impact sexual violence has on a survivor. We give voice to the diversity of experiences survivors may have. We speak out about the challenges survivors face daily. And we hope. We hope that because of what survivors have taught us, we’ll be able to teach others. And hopefully, we inspire.
We want to inspire you to lend YOUR voice to this movement. You don’t have to be a survivor to support survivors. You don’t have to love someone who is a survivor to know that sexual violence is everyone’s problem. Because it is. Sexual violence is a community issue.
How can you begin advocating for change right now? Here are a three easy ways to get you started:
- Write a letter to your legislator to let them know this issue is important to you, that you support survivors and legislation that supports survivors.
- Have conversations with the people you know and love, telling them why you care and why they should too.
- Come join us when we rally, or when we walk, or when we speak out publicly about the unacceptable reality of sexual violence in our communities.
Join OUR movement. Join us because we need your voice. Join us because it’s your community. Join us because sexual violence is everybody’s problem, and we can’t solve it without you.
To learn more about our advocacy efforts, please contact Jennifer Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.