Recently, Hopeful Horizons participated in the national social media campaign to say “No More” to domestic violence and sexual assault. The goal of the No More campaign is to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault and to unite our voices internationally to call for an end to the violence. For the staff at Hopeful Horizons, saying “no more” to these things goes beyond a catchy slogan, but rather is a mantra for their daily work of providing safety and healing for victims of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault.
Our advocates have worked with college women sexually assaulted and not supported by their universities because “boys will be boys.” As a result of such a mindset and the tendencies for institutions to turn a blind eye to sexual assault, women will suffer from years of PTSD symptoms and self-blame. So our advocates say, “No more boys will be boys.”
Our legal team often assists victims who are seeking custody in order to protect their children from abusive partners. Statistics demonstrate that men who abuse their wives are much more likely to abuse their children and children frequently witness the domestic violence that their fathers perpetrate. Yet, the courts still give abusers custody. So our legal team says, “No more saying that an abusive father is a good father.”
Our on-call volunteers, have seen nurses, officers and even friends and family ask a victim who has just been sexually assaulted, “Why were you wearing that skirt?” or “Why were you drinking?” Instead of asking, “Why would anyone rape someone?” So our on-call volunteers say, “No more victim-blaming.”
For me, as the sexual assault outreach specialist, I have seen the number of primary victims served each year increase. This is a number that represents how many victims have been impacted by child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault. Last year, that number was 1,495 for Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, Jasper and Allendale counties. So I say, “No more apathy and no more ignoring the abuse.”
The least apathetic group I know is our Hopeful Horizons staff and volunteers. They work daily to make the mantra of “no more domestic violence and sexual assault” a reality. You can join them in the fight against abuse in three ways. First, help us by making a financial contribution. Every dollar helps us provide vital services to victims in need of healing. Second, give us your time and your talents by becoming a volunteer. Apply for our training and make a difference in a victim’s life. Third, invite us to your schools, clubs, churches, work places or organizations to educate and train individuals to respond to and prevent child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault.
Join us today to collectively say “No More” and to take action to end child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault. Together, we can end abuse and change lives!