When you live in a Valley, you get familiar with mountains. Since we're part of the Flathead Valley community, when we choose to honor survivors of domestic and violence, we call it a Summit -- a time to pause and reflect on how far we've come and a chance to gain perspective on where we are going.Read More
May is Mental Health Awareness month, and we at the Abbie are thinking about the survivors we've worked with whose abusive partners blamed their violence on mental health illness.Read More
The Abbie Shelter participated in this year's Walk the Walk event sponsored by Flathead Valley Community College.Read More
You know a survivor.
You might be the first person someone tells immediately after being sexually assaulted. Alternatively, a survivor might also wait weeks, months, or even years to share their story. Both are common reactions. If someone you know tells you their story, here are examples of supportive things you can say:
- I believe you.
- Thank you for telling me.
- It wasn’t your fault.
- You did nothing wrong.
- I am here for you.
- You are brave.
- You are never alone.
- How can I help?
- There are resources here in our community for you.
You are a survivor.
Everyone heals in their own time and their own way, and the path isn’t always a straight line. You don’t need to do it alone — you can:
- Read or share messages of encouragement here: #SupportSurvivors
- Join an online survivor group
- Connect with your local rape crisis center for resources (Abbie Shelter)
Saturday April 29th 1-5:30pm
KM Building, Downtown Kalispell
Join us for this FREE event as we create a safe space for survivors of domestic and sexual violence to explore, expand, and empower their path to recovery.
Rebecca Johns-Living an Integrated Life: A Commitment to Well Being
- Understanding the Effects of Trauma, Resiliency Factors and Child Behavior
- Sexuality for Survivors: Fueling Ones' Fire in Safety and Health
- Healing Trauma with SoulCollage Art Process
- Dare Your Hair: Empowered by Strong and Stylish Do's
- Into the Wild Mind of Poetry: Exploring the power of poetry to expand and deepen our experience of ourselves and the world around us
Sexual violence undermines the values of strong communities. Online comments that blame victims contribute to a broader climate in which sexual violence is tolerated and not taken seriously. Help end rape culture by taking action online:
- Believe and support survivors. For example, use the comments section to thank survivors and commend their bravery for sharing their stories.
- Respond to victim blaming, rape jokes, or other problematic comments on social media. Post a response like, “Sexual assault is never the survivor’s fault.” Refocus accountability on the individual(s) who committed sexual violence.
- Link to an educational resource about sexual violence prevention that you can find at nsvrc.org/publications.
- Promote Sexual Assault Awareness Month using the hashtag #SAAM. Sample tweet: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
- #SAAM. Find out how you can use your voice to change the culture: www.nsvrc.org/saam © NSVRC 2017. All rights reserved.
Sexual Assault 101:
What is sexual assault?
Definition of Sexual Assault (Merriam-Webster Dictionary):
Illegal sexual contact that usually involves force upon a person without consent or is inflicted upon a person who is incapable of giving consent (as because of age or physical or mental incapacity) or who places the assailant in a position of trust or authority.
What is consent?
Some Impacts of Sexual Assault:
- Shame and self-doubt
- Anxiety and fear
- Trouble remembering details of the assault
- Engaging in high risk behaviors
Some Facts and Statistics about Sexual Assault:
- 90+% of victims of sexual assault know their attacker as an acquaintance, date, partner, or relative.
1 in 4 girls are raped in college.
More boys are raped in college than in prison.
Victim's often freeze, rather than fight or flee, during a sex assault.
There's no "typical" response to a sex assault, and victim behavior often differs from our expectations.
The rate of false reporting is extremely low, around 2% (Lisak, D. (2007). False allegations of rape: A critique of Kanin. Sexual Assault Report
If you remember only one thing about Sexual Assault:
Victims of sexual assault need and deserve nonjudgmental support. Always start by believing a sexual assault victim. Support them to get the help and resources they need to be safe.