The moment a victim bravely comes forward and tells their truth, they are hopefully met with the three words that everyone deserves to hear: “I believe you.” Followed by: “I am here for you.”
As many of you know, our theme for Sexual Assault Awareness Month and National Child Abuse Awareness Month this year is Stand in Your Power. While standing in your power may mean something different to each and every one of us, the power of having allies in the fight to prevent abuse and support survivors is critical. Many times, the journey from victim to thriving survivor is made with the help of strong allies.
The POWER of allyship cannot be overstated. That ally could be a trusted parent, friend, or family member who you can go to for comfort, strength, and trust. An expert therapist who works with you to shine a light into the darkness and grow to find hope through healing. A celebrity, lawmaker, or fellow survivor who stands up and uses their voice to create awareness and change. An ally can be a shoulder to cry on or the voice on the other end of the phone lifting us up during complex and challenging times.
Everyone has a role to play in the fight against sexual violence. Here are some examples of how YOU can be an ally:
- Listen, and be respectful of everyone’s comfort level and privacy. Believe and learn from survivors. Recognize everyone has their own unique journey, and no two paths will be the same.
- Show up, and when you say you’re going to be there, be there.
- Speak up, and become an advocate in your own way. Encourage prevention education in your local schools. Stand up for affirmative consent. Say something when you see something. Reach out to an organization supporting victims and survivors and let them know you are an ally and would love to help!
- Invite others to join the movement! There is power in our collective voices and joining together to create change!
Our allyship has POWER, and when allies, supporters, friends, and family members of survivors of abuse come together, there is nothing this powerful army for change cannot accomplish. They say it takes a village, and here at Lauren’s Kids, we are so thankful we have you in ours to continue to work to end the endemic of childhood sexual abuse.