April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

“To be powerless is not gender specific.”

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Crime Victim Awareness Month. Many individuals believe that a man cannot be sexually assaulted. According to the CDC, one out of seven men has been victim of severe beating, burning and strangulation by an intimate partner. Unfortunately, because of the many stigmas associated with abuse, whether physical or sexual, many men do not report the crime. Therefore, men often face the abuse alone.

Some men are fortunate to have a great support system through family and friends, yet others experience this trauma alone. Many men are being told to “suck it up and be a man” as if their assault does not matter, or is simply unimportant. Sexual assault survivors can be of any gender or sexual orientation and deserve to be treated with compassion and empathy. Recently a sexual assault victim who identified as a gay man felt as though when he reached out for help, he wasn’t taken seriously due to his sexual orientation. This experience had led to him feeling re-victimized. This is just one of many experiences that have been reported and why our community could benefit from further trauma informed training. Agencies who have not yet had the opportunity to receive this training can call Family and Children First for assistance.

Many in this community assume EVE is a battered women’s shelter, however, EVE serves men who have also been affected by domestic violence or sexual assault. If your group or agency would be interested in more information about domestic violence or sexual assault, please call 740-374-5820 and ask for Jessica. She will assist you with setting up a speaker. We consider EVE a judgment free organization and our motto says it all; HELP, HOPE, SUPPORT.

Tina Vincent

Marietta