According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), over 60% of sexual assaults are never reported to the police. Someone in the US is assaulted every two minutes, and most often, this survivor is a woman. Survivors of sexual assault are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, and 26 times more likely to abuse drugs. Nearly one in five Mainers report being the survivor or victim of sexual assault throughout their lifetime.
Together, we can work to change these statistics, or at least to support the survivors in our lives and in our communities. This past weekend, Shana was asked to speak at an event at Bowdoin College, the topic of which was to bring together survivors of sexual assault to share their stories. Shana’s most important point throughout her presentation was the importance of our collective stories; not only about how the healing process can be affected by writing down our stories, but how hearing and sharing our stories can influence someone else’s healing process. And there’s so much strength and healing in being able to share our collective stories. Speak About It helps give language to situations and to survivors where we didn’t know what to call something, how to label something. By sharing stories and situations where people have been assaulted, we give language to other survivors who may not have thought that their situation was assault. That night that didn’t feel right, where boundaries were crossed and consent wasn’t given. That weird, uncomfortable feeling: you aren’t alone. It wasn’t your fault, and you didn’t do anything wrong. By sharing our stories, we help other people find theirs. By raising our pens and our voices to tell our stories, we give them strength. We give ourselves strength, and we strengthen those around us. Because we are all affected by sexual assault, and by sharing our stories we learn that we are not alone as survivors, that our stories are not the exception to the rule.
Do you feel empowered to make a change in your community? We encourage you to support Speak About It to help us bring this performance to other schools, to other students, across the country. And we would be honored if you felt comfortable sharing your stories with us to be included in the performance. By sharing our stories, we can help other people find theirs.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. Help us Speak About It. #30daysofgiving