April 11, 2014

Taking a Stand for Survivors in Ohio

Becky Perkins, Communications Coordinator

In a dark bedroom in a small town, a woman is unable to sleep. She knows that when she closes her eyes, the terror and humiliation will play out in the camera of her mind, tormenting her once again. She lies in silence, afraid to close her eyes, afraid to breathe, afraid to move. Will you help her find help?

The next morning, a few counties over, a young boy pretends to be as interested as his classmates in the upcoming science fair at school. But all he can think about is whether or not his stepfather will come home tonight and take him to the basement again for special play time. Will you protect him?

That night, on a campus an hour's drive away, a college student weighs the pros and cons of reporting the rape that she just suffered at the hands of a so-called friend. She wonders how anyone, least of all the police, could ever believe her story. Will you believe her?

The following afternoon, just across town, a middle-aged man is struggling with painful memories and doesn't know if he should tell his partner about being sexually abused as a child. He is terrified that his partner won't want to stay with him if he knows the truth. Will you give him courage?

At the same moment in a nursing home, an elderly woman notices bruises on her thighs and tries to remember how she got them. She thinks it might be from the new aide on her floor who makes her uncomfortable. But she doubts that anyone cares about what happens to an old woman with a failing memory. Will you care about her?

That evening, cold and hungry, a homeless teen boy accepts a ride from a man he's never met. He knows what to expect – it's happened a hundred times before – but he has to survive. He does what the man wants so he can make it through another night. Will you help him escape?

Will you take a stand?

Every day in Ohio, we encounter survivors like these in our towns, our schools, and even our own homes. Hiding in plain sight, they suffer a pain they never deserved. They are silenced by shame, fear, and a society that refuses to hear and believe the truth about sexual violence.

It doesn't have to be this way.

You can make a difference for all survivors in Ohio by joining OAESV as an ally in supporting survivors, empowering communities to prevent sexual violence, and advocating for change. You have the ability to make a difference right now, today. As Ohio's anti-sexual assault coalition, OAESV advocates for public policies that support survivors, and we provide the tools and training rape crisis advocates and prevention specialists need in order to impact survivors and communities throughout our state.

Here's how you can help:

  • Become a member of OAESV as an individual or organization.
  • Make an individual or monthly donation, or donate through your employer. With a donation of $20 or more, you'll receive this t-shirt.
  • Businesses can become sponsors and be recognized statewide on marketing materials. Once a sponsorship level is determined, business can submit a sponsorship form directly to OAESV.
  • Host an event and donate a portion of the proceeds to OAESV.
  • Donate artwork or other gifts for an online auction later this year.
  • "Like" us on Facebook if you haven't already, or invite your friends to "like" OAESV on Facebook. The OAESV Board will match $1 for every new "like" during Sexual Assault Awareness Month up to $500.

Thank you for your support! Most of all, thank you for caring about survivors and thank you for your commitment to ending sexual violence in Ohio.