By Daniel Church
Volunteer Coordinator at RAAP in Denver
It’s time to talk about it. What is it, you ask? It is Sexual Assault. It is Rape. It is Sexual Violence and talking about it is not something we are very good at. I cannot speak for others, but I know that for a lot of people of my gender, my race, my sexual identity, my faith, and my socioeconomic status, it is not something that comes up very often. And when it does come up, we get awkward, nervous and make jokes because we really don’t know how to talk about it. Well, it’s time for that to change. It’s time to talk about it.
Why is now the time? Now is the time, because it affects you. Probably without you even being aware, it is manipulating and changing the world you live in and the lives you care about. It is destroying families and relationships, fostering hate, and removing hope. It is teaching our men that this is the only way to succeed and teaching our women that this is the natural consequence of being female. Assuming you fit into one of those two categories, as well as if you don’t, it is influencing you. Studies repeatedly show that at least one of four women is a victim of it and so is one of six men. Do you know four women? Do you know six men? It crosses all social and societal borders, boundaries, and gaps, including the ones you and I fit into.
Why then are we so shocked and unbelieving, so sure that it is their problem, not our problem? Because talking about it, isn’t something we do. By not talking about it, we condone it. Now is the time to talk about Sexual Assault. Now is the time for you and I to realize there is something we can do, and that something starts with talking about sexual violence. Whether you are a member of my gender, my race, my sexual identity, my faith, my socioeconomic status, or not, we need to realize this is our issue. Sexual Assault does not need to be a given. It’s time to talk about it.
Dan Church is 28 and the Volunteer Coordinator for the Rape Assistance and Awareness Program in Denver, CO. He oversees their 24 Hour Hotline and Hospital Advocacy Program.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and we hope you will join us all at events and activities in communities throughout Colorado during April to help break the silence around the issue of sexual violence. Visit www.ccasa.org and click on “Calendar of Events.”