Sexual Assault: Resources for Individuals and Families
TRIGGER WARNING. This blog post references rape, sexual assault, and harassment, but also offers suggestions on how to reach out for help and provides resources for talking with children.
The topic of sexual misconduct— from unwanted advances to assault— has been “above the fold” news with regularity in recent months. The latest headlines have focused on the political calculus, but many survivors have shared her/his/their experiences online and provided insight about why they haven’t spoken out about their own histories of abuse, assault or rape, using the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport. Some wounds were fresh; others were decades old or took place during childhood.
It was no surprise to learn that the Sexual Assault Center (SAC)— which serves Middle TN— experienced a 500% increase in call volume since the Senate hearings into allegations of sexual assault by the Supreme Court nominee.
We are glad to know that SAC— one of our Partner Programs— is a vital community resource for Middle Tennesseans that seek healing, advocacy, and therapeutic support.
We are also glad that, nationally, United Way offered help through 2-1-1, the free 24/7 confidential information and referral service. 2-1-1 made sure its operators were able to help callers find local survivor support or mental health resources, which helped reduce the burden on the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and addressed long wait times. RAINN runs the National Sex Assault Hotline.
Resources for Children/Youth
- SAC provides resources on child sexual abuse, such as Be Empowered: A Guidebook for Parents, Caregivers and Educators.
- RAINN has excellent advice on how to talk to kids about sexual assault.
- For parents, Psychology Today recently published tips on how to speak with loved ones about disclosure.
- For survivors, Teen Vogue published self-care tips, acknowledging that it’s hard to avoid triggers and be overwhelmed by the news.
- You can reach the SAC’s Crisis & Support Line at 1-800-879-1999.
- Individuals and families can also contact/visit The Refuge Center for Counseling. This agency offers affordable professional counseling services that empower, educate, and support community members. Phone: (615) 591-5262
- For additional local resources, call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898-211.
Original article by Neil Parekh, United Way Worldwide