The last two weeks have been incredibly difficult, to say the least. It is nearly impossible to turn on the news, look at social media or attend a family dinner without the discussion turning to sexual assault. We have been bombarded with story after story about consent, violence and rape culture.
Victims and survivors of sexual violence are trying to navigate how to cope with their own personal experiences while hearing the stories of the violence endured by others. Friends and family members are affected, and are doing their best to support survivors during this time. Parents are trying to raise their children to be respectful with their words and actions while knowing that others may be saying words don’t matter.
Times like this can feel overwhelming for all of us, but we at MOCSA find strength and solace in the knowledge that none of us are in this alone. Over the last two weeks, we have seen our crisis line calls nearly double and requests for hospital advocacy increase significantly. But we have also seen an increase in members of our community reaching out to ask how they can help. We have seen student leaders in our schools speaking out to support survivors. We have seen survivors show incredible courage in the face of disbelief and we have been inspired by their strength.
To everyone who is struggling right now, we stand by you. We stand with you. We are in this together. At MOCSA, a key message in our prevention programming is, “no one has to do everything, but everyone can do something.” For support or to find out how you can help, please call our 24-hour hotline at 816-531-0233 or 913-642-0233 or find more information our website, www.mocsa.org.