With the end of April came the end of Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2019. We at Crisis Services of North Alabama want to give a special thanks to everyone who showed support to survivors during this month, but we also want to encourage everyone to continue showing their support in any way that they can.

You may be curious how you can do this without special events planned or the coordinated efforts of Crisis Services and the Jackson County Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
One of the most important ways to show support to individuals affected by intimate partner violence, whether it is sexual assault or domestic violence, is to become educated about it. This can be as simple as following an organization on social media or asking a staff member of Crisis Services or a Coalition member to come speak with your office, book club, organization, or church group. CSNA.org, RAINN.org, NCADV.org, and futureswithoutviolence.org are just a few of the websites that offer education and information about intimate partner violence. Becoming part of the conversation can help survivors feel that they have a greater network of supporters.
You might be thinking how intimate partner violence has anything to do with you. Statistics show that 1 in 4 women have been victims of domestic violence, and 1 in 3 women have been victims of sexual assault. The next time you are sitting in a restaurant, theater, or church just start counting the number of women that you see. Maybe you are blessed with a large group of friends or you go to regular family reunions. These statistics do not change because of the people that you know. Every socioeconomic group, race, religious affiliation, and ethnic group is affected equally. Violence happens everywhere.
Once you have become educated on the topic of intimate partner violence it should not just stop with you becoming more knowledgeable. It is then up to you to continue the conversation. Talk with friends and family about what you have learned. Share with your local church group or book club. Get involved with your local coalition and find ways to continue educating your community. If knowledge is power then let that knowledge be powerful enough to end the violence that survivors have endured.
For more information on intimate partner violence please feel free to contact Crisis Services of North Alabama Jackson County Office locally at 256.574.5826 or through our 24/7 HELPline at 256.716.1000. Crisis Services of North Alabama provides free, confidential support and education to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. If you or someone you know has been affected by intimate partner violence, Crisis Services can help. Do not face this alone. Survivors need to know how much support is available to them in their community.
For more information on becoming involved in the Jackson County Coalition Against Domestic Violence please contact Crisis Services of North Alabama. All staff members are also coalition members and will be happy to share how you can become involved in this group. They meet quarterly to discuss ways the community can help meet needs of survivors and plan events to increase awareness.

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