As summer comes to a close, we have many awareness months and days to reflect on. Pride Month, Mental Health Liberation Month, National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and many more. We must consider the intersectionality of survivors and their identities, and how this impacts them moving through multiple systems, access services, and disclosing their survivorship.
Intersectionality and diversity is increasing relevant when discussing intimate partner violence and sexual violence. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that 27% of transgender, gender non-conforming, and/or genderqueer individuals have experienced sexual assault. RAINN also reports that Native American womxn are likely to experience assault at 2x the rate of other womxn. Nationally, 45% of Black womxn have experienced sexual violence. We must understand and acknowledge the impact and implications of this information, and how it impacts these individuals and communities.
Lastly, we must address the silence of male survivorship. Male survivorship is estimated at 1 in 6 for sexual violence, however we know that many of these statistics and information are impacted by underreporting. As an agency, and society, we must reflect on the silence of this population and their experience of survivorship. We must address this and ask ourselves: How are we able to be affirming for these individuals? What can we change to make our services more accessible and assist these individuals in overcoming barriers?
Let us take a moment of silence for all of the individuals’ lives who have been lost to sexual violence and domestic violence.