“A revolution always begins from within. This one begins when you decide how you will hold the issues of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse within you, and how you live out that decision.”
Sexual violence is a common and widespread issue that impacts our community every day. In any given classroom of 25 children, five of them will experience sexual victimization before they turn 18 based on national victimization rates. This is an issue that impacts people of all ages, genders, and neighborhoods. There are over 23 million survivors of sexual assault in the United States, and it is time to say “NO MORE” to this crime in our community.
We are asking you to join our efforts to prevent sexual violence and promote healing in Lebanon County by joining our Virtual #Thriver Walk. The event will take place online from Saturday August 8 through Saturday August 15, 2020. The week-long virtual event will include video discussions, daily fitness challenges, and real examples of healing in our community.
Join us in making real and lasting change in our community. Promote better health, greater opportunities for healing, and resilient futures for every survivor.
We will also post our daily challenges, informational posts, and updates here for you to follow.
First and foremost – a huge THANK YOU to our Thriver Sponsor this year: UPMC Pinnacle!
Did you know that sexual violence impacts our whole community? Learn more about what sexual violence is, and how survivors of sexual violence can take the first steps in their healing journey.
Your Day 1 #Thriver Walk Challenge is to take a walk with a friend or family member. Choose someone you care about. Take the time to discuss the idea of healing. Healing looks different for each person. What does healing mean to you? What does your community offer that makes healing possible? Add your comments, tag your friend, and share how many steps you took on your #Healing Journey today!
Today’s learning challenge is to understand the impacts of sexual violence on children. Age is a risk factor for victimization. The majority of sexual violence survivors will experience it for the first time before the age of 18. Most male survivors will experience it for the first time before the age of 10.
Also know that childhood trauma is not a closed door. Children have a great capacity for healing. Children are resilient. Adults can play a big part in that resiliency. Contact SARCC to request a prevention program for parents and caregivers, or for professionals. Your learning can prevent trauma and promote resilience in our community. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information on local programs.
Today is #Striver Day on our #Thriver Walk Challenge. Often on the healing journey, taking the first step is the hardest. We know that each journey will be different. Survivors will face bumps in the road, or have setbacks. Having the courage to get started and keep moving is a victory!
Survivors are not alone on their healing journeys. Even if the path before you today is a hard one, or if today feels harder than yesterday, know that we believe in you. Your community supports you and has tools to help you through.
Our Day 2 #Thriver Walk Challenge is to walk a harder path than usual. Take that big hill. Walk a block further. Take the long way. Remember that every journey starts with the first step. Take a photo, share your steps, and let us know how your #Striver walk went today.
Our #Thriver Walk learning challenge for today is to explore the nature of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment takes many forms and happens in many places in our community. Later this week, we will unpack Street Harassment, which is one place where is happens. Sexual harassment can also occur in work places, schools, or community activity spaces.
Sexual Harassment is a form of sexual violence that can include a range of behaviors, from harassing words about a person’s body, gender, or sexuality, to unwanted touching or intimidation, to emails, texts, or images posted of a sexual nature, to unwanted sexual advances.
The most important thing to remember is that everyone deserve to feel safe at work. Harassment is not just something to expect on the job. it’s up to both employers and workers to create a culture to says NO MORE to sexual harassment in the workplace. Contact SARCC to request a program on sexual harassment and learn about what you can do to prevent it.
Today’s #Thriver Walk Challenge is to take a #Braver walk. Survivors are brave! The courage to survive, heal, and thrive after sexual violence can move mountains. To celebrate this BRAVE work, we challenge you to take a walk today that makes you feel BRAVE! Decide to take that huge hill, find a new trail that you have not been down before, or walk a little further than you normally would. To be brave enough to do the hard thing before you always begins with the first step!
Did you know that our counselors are available through our hotline 24 hours, because we know that the courage to take the first healing step is not something that can be scheduled. Call us any time at 717-272-5308 or 570-628-2965 to connect.
Pictured below is an image from one of SARCC’s Cultivating Strength Groups. We just these groups in prison settings, and out in the community. There is a strong connection between past trauma and incarceration.
When our counselors developed the group, they wanted to pull together opportunities for healing and creativity with information about trauma and resilience. We found out that survivors who participated in the group made major progress in their healing journeys. Some quotes from participants in the groups included:
“We aren’t what happened to us, we aren’t where we are, we’re only who we choose to become.”
“[I will] Use the coping skills; set boundaries no matter what; the ugly in my past doesn’t define my beauty today.”
To learn more about art in the healing journey, check out the amazing “Art Against Assault” project, and the impact it has. Call our counselors to learn more about upcoming healing arts opportunities.
Today is Day 4 of our #Thriver Walk Challenge. Today’s challenge is to take a piece of chalk with you on your walk. Find a spot to write an encouraging message or draw of picture. So often, we don’t know who our words, actions, and messages will impact. Survivors of sexual violence often come forward to share their stories when they see that they have a community that will believe and support them.
Examples of messages you can write while you are on your walk include:
Or, come up with your own message. You know your community the best, and your words will make a difference.
Did you know that #Street Harassment (sometimes called catcalling) is a common experience that can have long-term effects in our communities?
Many women and girls report that they first experience street harassment at the age of 11. 11! Comments about a person’s body, sexuality, or gender can make anyone feel unsafe, but imagine the impact and confusion on a girl child.
Street harassment also occurs against #LGBTQ+ folks and can include gender policing and threats of physical and sexual violence.
You can address it directly, make a report, or begin to map unsafe streets in your community.
Our Day 5 #Thriver Walk challenge is to take the time to talk with a loved one about healthy sexuality and consent. These can be difficult topics, because our culture has a weird dynamic when it comes to sexuality. Mass media sends hyper-sexualized messages about body and representations. At the same time, many of us grow up in homes where it is taboo to ask questions or unpack those confusing messages.
When it comes to conversations about sexuality and consent, it is best to START EARLY and TALK OFTEN! Even very young children can understand consent and healthy boundaries.
Need help getting started? Contact our prevention staff to set up a program for parents and caregivers on these topics and how to find and stop grooming behaviors in your community.
Our counselors often get questions about survivors: When will this hurt go away? When will my trial finally happen? When will I feel like I can date again? When will life feel normal again?
Our counselor, Alicia, recently wrote a blog talking about the nature of #When.
For our Day 7 #Thriver Walk Challenge, we want to challenge you to take a walk off the beaten path. Go somewhere that you haven’t gone before. Find a trail or creek walk nearby. Give yourself a new adventure today.
The fact is, healing looks a lot of different ways for a lot of different #Thrivers in our community. There is no right or wrong answer. Know that you have the power to make healing happen, whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever you have.
Do not fear taking a road less traveled. So many #Thrivers benefit from seeing the courage and experiences of others around them. It’s ok to try new things and set a new example for what healing looks like!
You’ve walked with us, learned with us, and explored with us this week during our virtual #Thriver Walk event. Now, your last challenge is to find a way to keep walking with us! Join us by following our page, volunteering your time, or making a donation to support prevention and healing services in our community. We need all of us to make a difference and say NO MORE to Sexual Violence.
We would like to thank a special sponsor of this year’s #Thriver Walk event! Yoga for You joins us this year as a Believer Sponsor. Believing survivors is the first step in creating a community that says NO MORE to sexual violence. When a survivor shares their story, listen, thank them for trusting you, and believe what they are telling you. Thank you, Yoga for You, for believing survivors!
As we wrap up #Striver Day, we want to take a moment to thank our Striver Sponsors! Domino’s Pizza joined us once again this year as a walk sponsor! Thank you for always supporting SARCC’s Mission to Prevent Sexual Violence & Promote Healing!
Thank you Marianne Bartley, owner of Time to Think, LLC, for all of the ways that she supports SARCC’s mission. We were honored to work with Marianne on our recent Taking Action for Anti-Racism workshop series and community efforts. She is a leader who truly dedicates herself to growing and learning, and continuing to understand the intersections of many different issues in our community – sexual violence, racism, sexism, and heterosexism, just to name a few. Thank you for committing to #Strive for NO MORE sexual violence in our community!
Surviving sexual violence takes great courage! Today, we celebrate our #Braver Sponsor – Strickler Insurance Agency. Strickler generously supports SARCC services through the #Thriver walk each year. We are especially grateful for the ways they also support our staff as our health insurance broker! Thank you, Strickler, for being a Braver Sponsor, and supporting SARCC’s work to prevent sexual violence and promote healing!