As you may have heard, April is Sexual Assault Awareness month. It is difficult to overstate the importance of this cause, which has taken on personal significance for many of us. The statistics for sexual assault in the United States are alarming: 1 in 5 transgender individuals, 1 in 6 women, and 1 in 33 men will be the victims of sexual violence during their lifetimes. Someone is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds in this country. That’s over 320,000 sexual assaults every year.
Planned Parenthood stands with survivors of sexual assault. We offer vital sexual and reproductive health care services and resources to survivors in a safe and supportive environment. And we work toward preventing future cases of sexual assault through education outreach, and by advocating for better policies to prevent and respond to cases of sexual assault and violence.
Planned Parenthood strives to ensure that all people have the education and resources they need to make healthy decisions about their own bodies and relationships. We believe that in order to prevent sexual violence, young people need access to quality sex education that teaches the importance of consent and healthy relationships. This education has to start before college, which is a time when many people become sexually active.
For survivors of sexual assault, Planned Parenthood health centers provide STI testing and treatment (including post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, which can help prevent HIV infection even after exposure), emergency contraception, birth control, pregnancy tests, and counseling about your various health care options in a compassionate, nonjudgmental environment. We realize that you may not even realize what your needs are yet, but please don’t let that stop you from reaching out to us and making an appointment. We’ll help you figure out what you need, whether it is STI or pregnancy testing, treatment, or a referral to counseling or support groups.
No one ever deserves to be harassed, assaulted, or abused. It is never the victim’s fault. Not ever. Survivors deserve compassionate and supportive health care.
Come see us. We’re here to help.
–Kiri @ Planned Parenthood