In the United States, April is sexual assault awareness month, where the goal is to “for individuals and organizations to raise public awareness about sexual harassment, assault, and abuse and educate communities on how to prevent it.”

For many of us, myself included, our first real education about the epidemic of sexual harassment and assault came in college, but we know that abuse doesn’t wait for you to be on a college campus. Harassment, assault, and abuse can occur to anyone at any time. We should work on proliferating the appropriate resources to men and women in every walk of life. 

Whether you’re a survivor yourself, the friend of a survivor, someone who wants to help, or a leader on campus or beyond, it is imperative that we know, and share, these five resources that are designed to help fight against sexual harassment and abuse and support survivors.

National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline

This help hotline, designed to help you talk through your experience, find local resources, and seek support, is coordinated by the Rape, Abuse,and Incest National Network. It is a confidential support network that can help you at any stage of the story. They also have an online chat service. 

The phone number is 1-800-656-4673. Save it in your phone for use either by yourself or in case you encounter someone who may need the number. 

RAINN Resources on Reporting to Law Enforcement

Many survivors of abuse, assault, and harassment choose not to report to law enforcement for a variety of reasons. These worries include not being believed, a lack of faith in the system, or previous experiences with the law. If you, or someone you know, has questions about reporting sexual assault or abuse to law enforcement, these resources compiled by RAINN are a great place to start. Learn how to report, what to expect, the importance of DNA evidence, and what a trial could look like. 

NSVRC Consent Guide

If you’re educator–formal or informal–and looking to talk to your friends, yourself, your children, your partner, or anyone else about what consent looks like and why consent matters, this consent guide by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center is a great starting point. 

RELATED: It’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Here’s What You Need To Know

NSVRC Free Courses & Trainings

If you are passionate about helping to prevent sexual abuse, spot signs of potential abuse and harassment. Be an advocate in your community. Take some of the free trainings and courses through the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. They offer topics like sexual violence prevention, understanding trauma and sexual violence, commercial sexual exploitation, and more. 

Workplace Harassment Training

It is not the time to overlook something that also impacts us: workplace harassment. This OSHA training on workplace harassment is excellent for everyone. It is good to learn what NOT to do, obviously, but also to learn how to recognize harassment and inappropriate situations and report them so that the appropriate action can be taken. Many companies have their own training as well. See what your HR department has in writing about reporting harassment. You never know when you, or a coworker, may need to reach out and report.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member