To: Sunday, April 30th, 2017
As the only agency in Waukesha County providing supportive services to those affected by sexual assault, sexual abuse, and trafficking, we are proud to be a community leader in advocating for survivors and invite you to join the conversation.
We will be raising awareness by:
- partnering with Waukesha County Technical College to display the Clothesline Project beginning April 21st. The Clothesline Project allows survivors of domestic or sexual violence to express themselves by writing and decorating powerful messages on shirts.
- displaying jeans decorated by survivors and allies for Denim Day on April 26th. Denim Day is a worldwide day of action to raise awareness of sexual assault and draw attention to the dangers of victim blaming. The display will be placed along our fence from April 20th through the end of the month. We encourage everyone to wear denim on April 26th to show support for survivors.
- hosting our 40th Anniversary Luncheon on April 26th at the Italian Community Center. This event will feature a keynote address from child abduction and sexual assault survivor Elizabeth Smart.
- sharing 30 facts about sexual assault during the 30 days of April on Facebook and Twitter via the hashtag #TWC30facts.
We encourage community organizations and businesses to contact us for awareness ribbon pins, bracelets, Denim Day stickers, and informational materials to support their engagement efforts.
It is often difficult for a survivor to disclose any part of their experience with others. If someone comes to you for support, start by believing them. Below are some phrases you can use to validate those who have been affected by sexual violence:
- “I believe you.” The most important thing to do when supporting a survivor is validate their experience. Let them know you believe them.
- “It wasn’t your fault.” It is essential that a survivor understand they are not responsible for their assault. Be a supportive voice and remind them that they are not to blame.
- “I’m sorry this happened to you.” Mindful language is key: let survivors know that what happened was unacceptable, and that you take their experience and feelings seriously.
- “Can I help?” Let survivors know you are there to support them without being forceful. This allows survivors power of choice on whether to seek out your help.
- “What do you need most right now?” Give the survivor space to decide what comes next; there is no single right or wrong way for a survivor to respond to an assault.
Help is always available through our 24 Hour Hotline at 262-542-3828. When a survivor makes the difficult decision to reach out for support, they will be welcomed, believed, and respected at The Women’s Center.