April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), one in six women and 1 in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. To raise awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it, April is designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).
During Sexual Assault Awareness Month survivors and advocates engage the greater community in prevention efforts. We know one month isn’t enough to solve the serious and widespread issue of sexual violence, but the attention generates an opportunity to energize and expand prevention efforts.
The 2017 SAAM campaign theme is “Engaging New Voices,” because we can’t reach everyone. But we can identify key leaders who will -- leaders whose influence is necessary in achieving cultural change not just in April, but all year long.
YWCA McLean County will focus on engaging new voices of men, educators, students, government – including law enforcement, and the community.
One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks. Stepping Stones, YWCA’s sexual assault program, provides 24-hour assistance for sexual assault and sexual abuse victims and their families in McLean County. This free, confidential service also serves as the central sexual assault resource for McLean County. Services focus on empowering survivors, their families, and their friends on the path of healing, building relationships with professionals and agencies that will be part of the process, and educating the community about sexual assault. Stepping Stones also welcomes the opportunity to present information about sexual assault, date rape drugs, dating violence, or rape culture to a wide variety of audiences.
Provide telephone counseling
Help victim report to the police
Accompany victim to hospital to provide advocacy and support.
Volunteer for the hotline here.
Stepping Stones provides counseling to victims of sexual assault. Here are some quick facts about our counseling services:
Stepping Stones can accompany a victim to the hospital to provide advocacy and support.
Stepping Stones can advocate for victims with:
Stepping Stones provides education to schools and community groups on:
Volunteer to teach prevention education here.
Stepping Stones volunteers are always needed. The 40-hour training covers all information needed to become a trained volunteer advocate. Contact YWCA Stepping Stones at (309) 662-0461, or learn more about the upcoming training here.
If you are interested in volunteering with Stepping Stones, click here.
What are Survivors Saying?
"When I come to YWCA, I feel like I am a part of something special. I feel like it's okay to share my feelings and be open with my group members. These are the people who do care. And I know that I am not alone in this world. It's a nice feeling when I come here and I feel safe. The best part about Stepping Stones' group sessions is that I feel like I can be myself, and when I'm down, it's okay to tell someone so they can help me through it."
"Stepping Stones has been a very positive, reassuring experience. I was made aware of the rights I have as a victim and given the opportunity to stand up for myself and heal."
"It takes a village to help a survivor and I'm so happy that YWCA Stepping Stones was there for me and other survivors like me."
"It has been wonderful having someone to listen and provide vital feedback concerning the abuse and how it has affected my life. The sexual assault services have been a God-send and I am very grateful for them."
"I absolutely love this program. The Stepping Stones staff has helped me so much. They taught me how to cope in positive ways and move forward to my goal of becoming a healed survivor. Now I am able to build happy and healthy relationships thanks to Stepping Stones."
Tell your story, or read stories, in our Voices of Survivors here.
YWCA Stepping Stones
PATH 24-Hour Hotline
(800) 570-PATH (toll free)
Illinois Automated Victim Notification System
Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault