Why Awareness Matters
“I’ve learned throughout the years that no one wants to talk about what I do for a living. Getting folks energized about sexual violence prevention is not easy.”
By: Sara Cherry, Advocacy Manager
In my time as an Advocate for the past 5 years, Sexual Assault Awareness Month has been vastly different every year. I have experienced Aprils chock-full of every kind of event regarding sexual violence, and I have experienced Aprils where a few digital informational flyers and a Zoom presentation were the best I could hope for in terms of spreading awareness.
I began my career in the wake of the #MeToo Movement. People were tuned into the conversation. They were listening, learning. They were hearing what survivors and Advocates have always been saying: that sexual assault is a public health crisis. College campuses were eager to work with their local Sexual Assault Centers to implement sexual assault prevention & education programming, utilize Advocacy services for survivors, and draw from the knowledge of the experts in the field in order to make their communities safer.
As time passed, conversations pivoted away from sexual violence and the spotlight shifted. The global pandemic we’ve all been living through for the past two years is no small player here; our attention was held captive by another pressing health crisis. While #MeToo isn’t making nearly as many headlines as it was a few years ago, the impact it has made is worth noting. First of all, the conversation was finally being had. That’s no small feat when considering the topic!
I’ve learned throughout the years that no one wants to talk about what I do for a living. Getting folks energized about sexual violence prevention is not easy.
Additionally, measures were put in place in classrooms, workplaces, and maybe even in some unwritten cultural rulebooks about standing up to and preventing this type of violence. As a society, I believe we tolerate sexual assault a little less, we know our rights a little more, and those that experience this type of violence know that they are not alone. There will always be places like Mosaic Georgia that exist to help survivors through their experiences, and so long as we do we will do our part during Sexual Assault Awareness Month to educate and hopefully prevent future violence.