The pandemic has created a new level of social isolation for all of us. Yet, it is encouraging to see how community members have worked together during this isolating time to help provide safety, compassion and support for the most vulnerable among us. That sense of togetherness and belonging are key to creating safe and thriving communities.
While the COVID pandemic has been with us for a year, another pandemic has affected the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of people in this country each year: sexual assault.
April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a time to focus on creating safe and thriving communities by:
- Treating others with kindness, dignity and respect – in person and online
- Practicing empathy for those with different life experiences
- Looking out for the physical and emotional well-being of our neighbors
- Honoring the rights of all people to live free from violence
These simple and seemingly small, everyday actions can create ripples of positive change. When we genuinely engage with a friend or neighbor or stranger, when we show young people in life that kindness is something we practice and appreciate, when we resist making assumptions about another, we are all part of creating safe and thriving communities.
Our collective actions bring us one step closer to creating a safer place to live, work and play for our loved ones, friends and neighbors. A place where those who cause sexual harm are held accountable and all community members are able to live up to their full potential.
For information on confidential sexual assault services provided at no cost by Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan, call (800) 275-1995 or visit wrcnm.org.