April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this year we are taking a look at how sexual assault and rape connect to other societal problems. We asked Montrose Counseling Center Anti-Violence Specialist Allison Vogt what a world without sexual violence would look like. She responded that there would be LESS substance abuse, homelessness, domestic violence, bias/hate crimes, suicide, sexual orientation/gender stigmas, sexism, child abuse, victims-turned-predators, school dropouts, teen homelessness, health issues, depression, post-traumatic stress, mental health issues, mood swings, sleep and eating disorders, social anxiety, unproductivity in schools and the workplace, prostitution, fear, homophobia, stress on public health, justice and welfare systems, heterosexism, child/teen pregnancy, poverty, unemployment, incarceration, etc.
Statistics show that many people who have been the victim of sexual assault do not seek help or report it to the police. Within the GLBT community, people may feel especially reluctant and unsafe disclosing that they were violated. Many people carry the scars of sexual assault throughout their lifetime. It’s never too late to ask for help. You don’t have to go through this alone. You can get counseling at MCC, even if you’re struggling with something from your past or childhood. If you need someone to go with you to the police or the hospital, we will set you up with an advocate to make sure you are treated with dignity and respect. It’s important that you are treated with dignity and respect since both were taken away.
If you need us, we are here for you. Please call 713.529.0037 for more information about the services that are available to you. Crisis intervention is available 24-hours a day through Gay & Lesbian Switchboard Houston at 713.529.3211.
If you would like to support Sexual Assault Awareness, consider purchasing a “What Would a World Without Sexual Violence Look Like?” or a “Consent is Hot” t-shirt at Café Press.