As April comes to a close, Crisis Services of North Alabama Jackson County office thanks our community for all the support during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) 2018.

All the support shown to survivors has been tremendous. Just because SAAM ends with April it does not mean that our endeavors to spread awareness stop. As a community agency, CSNA wants to provide opportunities to continue educating the public regarding sexual assault.
When a sexual assault happens to someone’s friend or loved one they usually want to know how to help. The following are some specific phrases RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline recommends:
“I believe you,” or, “It took a lot of courage to tell me about this.” It can be extremely difficult for survivors to come forward and share their story. They may feel ashamed; concerned that they won’t be believed, or worried they’ll be blamed.
“It’s not your fault,” or, “You didn’t do anything to deserve this.” Survivors may blame themselves, especially if they know the perpetrator personally.
“You are not alone,” or, “I care about you and am here to listen or help in any way I can.” Let the survivor know that you are there for them and willing to listen to their story if they are comfortable sharing it.
“I’m sorry this happened,” or, “This shouldn’t have happened to you.” Acknowledge that the experience has affected their life.
“This must be really tough for you,” and, “I’m so glad you are sharing this with me.” Both of these help to communicate empathy.
When someone speaks about their sexual assault experience, remember to listen without judgement or giving advice. Let them know that you are there to listen only. When they have finished their story link them to their local sexual assault program to speak with an advocate for further services. Sexual assault advocates see victims and also family members, friends, and spouses of victims who have become secondary victims to the sexual assault.
If you know someone that has been sexually assaulted, and you want help processing those feelings or knowing what to say to them there is help. Crisis Services of North Alabama Jackson County Office provides these services to local residents. Teresia Smith holds the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator position in Jackson County and strives to provide services to victims as well as secondary victims of sexual assault in our area. All services provided by Crisis Services of North Alabama are confidential and free. If you want more information regarding how to help victims or be an advocate yourself please contact her by phone: (256)574-5826 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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