Letters to the Editor

oice to support victims of sexual assault


April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year’s theme is “Embrace Your Voice.” How you talk about sexual violence matters. The things you say every day send a message about your beliefs and values.

There are many ways to embrace your voice, from voicing your support for survivors to speaking out against victim blaming.

Chances are, someone you know is a survivor of sexual violence. They might not have told anyone out of fear of being blamed or judged.

If someone in your life is considering sharing something personal with you, they are likely listening to your opinions or attitudes for clues on how you will respond. That means when you hear comments that blame victims or make light of sexual violence, speak up so others know you don’t agree.

Even if you don’t have a perfect response, this shows that you believe survivors, and you are a safe person to talk to.

If you say, “I believe people when they say someone has hurt them,” you send a powerful message that you believe and support survivors of sexual violence. Whether you are showing your support for a survivor or helping someone better understand these issues, your voice has power.

Join the YWCA of the Sauk Valley in embracing your role in ending sexual violence. Together we make a difference.

If you or someone you know would like more information about Sexual Assault Awareness Month or our services, please call us at 815-626-7277 or 815-288-1011.

The YWCA is a United Way agency.

Note to readers: Deb Walter is the sexual assault program manager for YWCA of the Sauk Valley.