Honoring Child Abuse and Sexual Assault victims in April
Sexual assault and child abuse in any form is dangerous. Sometimes the traumas victims suffer lead to them to having long-term mental effects or even committing suicide. It is important to continue spreading the message out about ending assault.
“We may see it in the media, then all of a sudden they start popping up with huge cases. We do not see all the cases that go to the courtrooms or behind the scenes, says Schwichtenberg. Some in family settings, business settings, or school settings deal with child abuse and sexual assault. One of the most important things to do is to end the stigma. Supporting and respecting victims through the process.”
Dayja Schwichtenberg is the Sexual Assault Program Coordinator for CASDA.
It’s not often that people say they are victims. They can look like you and be some of the closest people in your life. "Kids are instructed that what goes on at home is not anyone else business. I think the public faces many kids, adults, and families affected by the abuse. You can’t necessarily tell right off the hand, says Hinner. They are trying to present themselves to the public as though they have it together.”
Jill Hinner is the Community Engagement Coordinator at CASDA.
If you are close to or know someone who has suffered some form of abuse, the most important thing you can do is to support them in any way. "If all they want is somebody to talk to, sometimes that’s all you can do, and you have to respect that, said Schwichtenberg. Also, if you can provide them with resources, that can go a long way in helping to create a community of support behind them.
In support of Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness month, people can participate in community activities to show their support. View the website of the Center Against Sexual & Domestic Abuse Inc for a calendar list and opportunities.