April looks to be another busy month for VIP as we get into Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Our campaign this year will focus on “Healing Together.” We’ll be visiting the County Commissioners of Wayne and Pike for proclamations, as well as holding our Take Back the Night event on Monday, April 17. SAAM Day of Action is scheduled for April 4 and International Denim Day is set for April 26. Keep an eye on our social media accounts to learn more!

Sexual assault, like domestic violence, is a crime made possible by one party exerting their power to control another in some way. A common tactic an abuser may use to accomplish this is isolation, which is why healing together is so important.

Often in the lead up to an assault, and very commonly afterwards, a survivor may feel isolated and alone. As is so often the case, if the abuser is an intimate partner, the survivor may feel even more alone as someone who once had their utmost trust has now shattered it. Due to the nature of how the public has historically stigmatized sexual assaults, the survivor may feel like they can’t go anywhere or that there is no one out there who can help. This is where healing together comes into play.

Events like Take Back the Night, and awareness campaigns such as SAAM help survivors know that others—too many others—have been in the same situation. There is strength in numbers. There is power in hearing others’ stories, commiserating, grieving as a collective.

 “Healing Together” also means analyzing the way people in our society interact with each other and the systems they use to do so, and making necessary changes toward support and inclusion. Health systems, social systems, educational systems, all these and more can benefit from reflecting on how they help survivors and work against sexual assault. And we’ll be there to hold up that mirror.