As a survivor and warrior for change, Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) — this month — is very meaningful to me. April is a month of national recognition that sexual assault and abuse is a problem in our country, and that we won’t ignore it just because it may be difficult to talk about.
Many of you supported me on my 1,500-mile Walk in My Shoes across the state of Florida earlier this year. While on the Walk, I connected with Sexual Assault Treatment Centers across the state and discovered that many of Florida’s centers do not even have toilet paper, rape care kits or other items to help the many survivors that they counsel everyday.
This SAAM, I’m focusing on Florida’s sexual assault centers and trying to bring attention to their very basic, unmet needs. I urge you to work with Lauren’s Kids to help your local center through volunteering, donations and financial contributions. To help you connect with these centers and meet their unique needs, Lauren’s Kids has compiled a list of their requests, which can be found here.
As you’ll see, some needs are greater than others, but anyone and everyone can help with things as basic as water and toilet paper. I’m thrilled that we’re beginning to gain community support – the Young Republicans from one of Florida’s universities has already contacted us and made arrangements to paint their local center – but we still need your help! I know tax season is stressful and it’s a busy time of year for everyone, but these centers provide a vital service at one of the worst moments of a person’s life – when they have been victimized by sexual violence – and it is so very important that we give back.