Change Happens Here
By: Marina Peed
My kids will tell you that I like to discuss uncomfortable topics. The best way to address a problem is to push past the discomfort and talk directly. Danger thrives in dark, unattended places…including the crisper drawers of my refrigerator. We can do better and we must do better.
Why are sexual assault and child sexual abuse still occurring? There are laws which criminalize sexual violations. Yet only 35% of victims report these crimes to law enforcement. What social conditions make you more comfortable reporting a stolen car than a sexual assault? You have a lot more to lose and questions to answer after an assault.
Mosaic Georgia, formerly Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center & Children’s Advocacy Center, served almost 1,000 new victims of sexual molestation and sexual violence last year. The vast majority (62%) of our clients were minors: 35% of our clients/patients were under 12 years of age; 27% were 12-17 years old; 18% were 18-24 (college age). Most of our clients are female (84%) yet we serve everyone regardless of sex or gender identity.
As a mom and an advocate for all children, I encourage you to push through the discomfort and talk to someone in your home, office, school, faith community, or bowling league about ending sexualized violence. You can create an environment where your family and friends can feel safe and supported. Mosaic Georgia is here to help facilitate those conversations.
March 3-9 is No More Week across the country and the theme is Change Happens Here. Even small actions can go a long way toward creating a society that does not tolerate domestic violence and sexual assault. The best sexual assault prevention occurs when EVERYone is respected.
- when we act as if we respect ourselves
- when we act as if we respect others
- when we don’t assume
- when the “bro code” holds guys accountable instead of covering up bad behavior
- when good people intervene rather than pretend not to see
- when consent is requested
- people are believed first and feel safe to tell what happened
- when we promote healthy relationships and boundaries from infancy
- when treatment is available to children who exhibit problematic sexualized behavior
Sexual abuse and assault is 100% preventable behavior. You can help change our common culture that has supported violence for too long. Please join us. #ChangeHappensHereGwinnett