Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How You Can Help

Turns out today's post won't be a jaunty religion-bashing rant either. One of my friends was raped in the early hours of the morning in her home. My theist readers may wish to pray for her, and that is their perogative. I know when I was a believer, when faced with a situation where I just wanted to Do something to make a horrible situation better, offering to pray for someone made me feel as if I might be helping in some small way. But whether you believe in prayer or not, there IS something you can do to help. Out of respect for me and my lack of beliefs, and for the sake of millions of girls, women, boys, and men who are sexually assaulted every day, please give your time, money, or energies to one of these excellent organizations. Click the organizations name or acronym to be connected to their sites, where you can learn how to donate, educate, or volunteer.

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network is the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE and the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline at rainn.org, and publicizes the hotline's free, confidential services; educates the public about sexual assault; and leads national efforts to prevent sexual assault, improve services to victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.

Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute
This research institute focuses on finding concrete ways everyday citizens can prevent child molestation of their loved ones. They are also studying ways to prevent people who have a predisposition or susceptibility to becoming sexual offenders from harming children, through interventionist therapies during the "thinking" stage, when a person has begun to fantasize about such acts but has not yet engaged in them. This is important and difficult research. Currently most molestation-related education charities focus on arming children with defenses and strategies for avoiding unsafe people or situations, or for identifying abuse once it has occurred. CMRPI attempts to tackle the problem from the other end - the potential future abuser.

Silent Lambs
This charity was founded by women who were molested within the Kingdom Halls of the Jehovah's Witness faith. A strict interpretation of a particular verse encourages JWs to protect pedophiles within their ranks from criminal prosecution for the abuse of children. Church funds are used in the legal defense of these molesters and rapists. Silent Lambs sheds light on individuals known within JW to have abused children and helps to fund the legal prosecution and witness attorneys for the child victims.

Thanks for all your warm wishes. There is nothing quite like watching a friend in pain and feeling there is little you can do to ease it. For me, knowing I may be able to help another seems to ease that burden.


  1. Sorry to hear about your friend, hopefully she can get the pratical help she will need to cope with this dreadful assault.

  2. Thanks for posting these resources. What an excellent idea. These situations make everyone feel so helpless, but being able to do something, even if not for the specific person, is, well, something. Better than prayer any day. But you know that.