St. Croix Valley SART along with Sarah Super, the founder of the Break The Silence Day, a Twin Cities based organization that creates events for survivors of sexual assault, feel strongly for the need to continue to support and empower survivors as well as bring awareness of sexual violence in our communities.
This organization and movement allows an opportunity for individuals to come forward publicly and name themselves as a survivor of sexual assault. Survivors can do this simply by stating their name and that they are a survivor; they might also share their story of assault or healing, and they might also name their perpetrator(s). Ultimately, breaking the silence means adding your identity to a larger story of sexual violence in our community.
While details may remain as private as you wish, your identity as a survivor becomes public when you break your silence. St. Croix Valley SART would like to help facilitate a River Falls Chapter of Break the Silence. We are looking for survivors in our communities who feel that they could benefit from sharing their stories with other individuals in a private group setting or additionally in a more public manor such as through a photo campaign, which will take place at our Take Back the Night Event, Thursday, April 20th at St. Bridget’s Church in River Falls.
A Break The Silence- River Falls Chapter Facebook Page has been created, as well as a private Facebook group which survivors my request to join to support one another in a positive environment. We encourage you to like and share this information with anyone you feel could benefit. We envision SART’s organization initiating the unification of this group and its survivors of sexual assault, while empowering them to use this platform to find personal growth, support and different levels of leadership and action, with the vision being that SART could remove itself from the Chapter once it is defined as self sustaining.
Sarah Super will support this survivor-leader, or team of survivor-leaders, in whatever way members choose, teaching group members the protocol she’s created with the the Twin Cities based Break the Silence Organization.
Why Break the Silence?
- People learn that they are surrounded by survivors in our community.
- Survivors will see that they are not alone in their suffering.
- Allies will develop a trauma-informed skill-set for supporting survivors.
- We will shed light on the injustice survivors face, watching 97% of rapists receive no punishment for their crimes.
- There is possibility for change.
How Do I prepare?
Consider the risks involved by sharing your identity as a survivor publicly. Survivors may experience judgement, shame, blame, isolation, and sometimes retaliation by breaking the silence. Survivors may also experience the strength and resilience of the human spirit. Breaking the silence is simply a choice, an invitation, and we will support, honor, and respect your decision, whatever feels right to you.
As an ally, your words and actions will either be perceived as healing or hurtful. Please review the following suggestions for how to respond to a trauma survivor before attending a Break the Silence Day event: http://www.wholebeingsolutions.com/resources/