Saprea Launches ‘Believe’ Campaign During April Awareness Month
In honor of Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Saprea is launching a month-long April campaign to raise awareness of child sexual abuse. It’s time to believe survivors, believe healing is possible, and believe in a future free from child sexual abuse.
One in five children in the U.S. is sexually abused before their 18th birthday and endure the effects of trauma long after the abuse has stopped. When communities get involved they can shed a light on this silent epidemic and inspire people to take action.
“This is happening in every community around the world. These survivors are our sisters, our friends, our neighbors, our mothers, our daughters, or maybe even you,” said Shelaine Maxfield, Saprea’s founder and board chair. “Empowering [these] survivors in their healing process is something we wholeheartedly believe in.”
Saprea has created multiple healing resources for survivors of child sexual abuse including the Saprea Retreat, the Saprea Healing Webinar, survivor-led support groups, and a library of online healing resources.
The Saprea Retreat is a free, clinically informed four-day experience for adult women who were sexually abused at or before age 18. The Saprea Healing Webinar is a free 4.5-hour interactive and educational online experience designed to help adult female survivors jumpstart their healing from home. The online healing resources also provide research-based tools, strategies, and educational content to help survivors address symptoms that may be associated with child sexual abuse trauma.
“One of the worst things about sexual abuse is someone not believing you, someone telling you something isn’t happening to you, but you know it’s wrong,” said Ashley, a survivor of child sexual abuse who has used Saprea’s resources. “If there is one thing I would say to inspire and empower others [survivors], it’s don’t be afraid to speak up. Even if the first person doesn’t listen, go to someone else.”
Saprea is seeking to spread this powerful message, validating Ashley and many other survivors. The Saprea “Believe” Campaign will kick off with Start by Believing Day –a day created by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) to help foster safe and supportive environments for survivors to disclose they have been sexually abused. This is a national day of awareness that invites communities everywhere to unite together to be a voice for survivors of sexual abuse. Saprea believes voices like yours can make all the difference.
“People ask me all of the time, ‘Shelaine, what can I do to help survivors? Where do I begin?’ My answer is: start by believing,” said Maxfield.
Saprea invites you to help survivors feel believed, supported, and able to heal. Saprea’s goal is to raise $50,000 during the month of April with 100% of the proceeds going to support healing and prevention resources and services. Those interested in joining the fight against child sexual abuse can donate at saprea.org.
“My hope is that every survivor will have the opportunity to find healing and feel the support of others. Above all, I want to send this message to every survivor I can. I believe you. I believe in your ability to heal. I believe you are worth it,” Maxfield said. “Together, we can create a world free from child sexual abuse and its lasting impacts.”
—By Molly Hansen