Responding to #MeToo and More

In a time when our newsfeeds are overflowing with disclosures from sexual assault survivors, articles about the social and political consequences for high profile perpetrators, and endless debates over what accountability should look and sound like, it is natural to feel overwhelmed.

We are swimming, sometimes drowning, in questions. “How do we stop sexual assault?” “How come it has taken this long for people in power to be called out?” “How do I heal?” “What do we do with offenders?” “How do I escape, when it feels like sexual violence is everywhere?” “Who can I trust?”

As an agency, SARC wants to directly address all that is occurring in Hollywood, state and federal politics, and in our own communities. But while this storm of media attention has the potential to be a pivotal moment in changing how our culture views and addresses sexual violence, SARC’s response has remained the same:

If you have experienced sexual violence and are looking for some kind of support, SARC is here for you.

Whether something happened three hours ago or thirty years ago, SARC is here for you.

Whether you know exactly what you want or you have no idea where to begin, SARC is here for you.

For anybody with any gender identity, race, documentation status, sexual orientation, occupation, spirituality, and any other identities that make up a human being, SARC is here for you.

Whether you want to tell us what happened or you want to keep that to yourself, SARC is here for you.

For people struggling with how to support a friend or family member who has experienced sexual violence, SARC is here for you.

To people who may be grappling with the multitudes of denials that have come from these disclosures, and the small number of admissions, we want to recognize how painful and messy it is to hear perpetrators try to lie or apologize their way out of accountability. Hearing offenders admit their wrongdoing can have value and be healing for some people, and SARC respects the power that can give survivors. We would be ignorant to not also recognize critically that it is only under the most extreme social and political pressure that these few public admissions are coming to light – when entire careers, financial investments, and crucial elections are on the line.

The reality of how commonplace acts of sexual violence are is as true today as it was 40 years ago when SARC first started, as it was 400 years ago. The consequences these high profile perpetrators are facing represent a step forward in cultural accountability, but this momentum needs to carry us further. As a culture, we can’t only pay attention to an offender after more than 50, more than 70, more than 100 survivors come forward. We can’t come out against sexual assault but not call out “locker room talk” at our jobs, schools, and in our personal lives.

To those in positions of power, especially white men, who pledge to be more accountable in their personal and professional lives, and who recognize how they have contributed to and enabled sexual violence, we say: thank you, more please. Step up through ongoing actions, beyond words alone. Take the pressure of voicing these issues off of those who experience sexual violence most often, like women, trans women, women of color, LGBTQ people, women in poverty, and more. For too long, the burden of combating sexual violence has fallen to those who have experienced it firsthand. Help us change that.

SARC is, as always, in awe of the resilience and strength of the survivors out there. The people we work with, and the people we don’t. The people who are sharing their stories, and those who are not. Everyday may not be perfect, you may not always feel the magnitude of your strength, and you may not always feel okay. Through all of that, you are not alone. Everyday, especially the tough days, SARC is here for you.


 

To get in touch with SARC’s services, seek support, or ask questions, contact SARC’s 24-hour Support Line: 503-640-5311.

SARC offices will be closed 12/8/16 due to winter weather

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Due to the anticipated winter storm, SARC offices will be closed on Thursday, December 8th. Our 24-hour Support Line will be available, and staff who are scheduled to be in the office today will be checking voicemails and e-mails.

Support Line Announcement

While SARC engages in agency-wide strategic planning our 24-hour line for all support, information, and referral calls will be temporarily transferred to our sister agency Portland Women’s Crisis Line (PWCL) for the next three months.

SARC will continue to maintain all in-person responses during this time.  Anyone is welcome to call us during business hours at 503-626-9100 for direct support.  Thank you for your understanding.

Thank you to PWCL for their help and support during this time.

Trauma-Informed Peer Clinical Consultation Group

Intimacy Group

The SARC Alder Program will be offering a FREE 10-week psychoeducational group aimed at addressing sexuality and intimacy needs for adult survivors of sexual trauma starting March 3, 2016. The group will meet Thursday evenings at the SARC Alder Program office.

The group references work done by both Wendy Maltz (The Sexual Healing Journey, 1991) and Staci Haines (Healing Sex, 2007) that addresses intimate, sexual and sensual healing for survivors.

Goals of the group include:

  • Exploring one’s own definitions of healthy sexuality and intimacy in a sex-positive environment
  • Discussing barriers to sexuality and intimacy in a safe, non-judgmental setting
  • Offering tools to increase a participant’s ability to become more in tune with their sexuality while setting and maintaining boundaries

The group addresses sexuality and intimacy directly, therefore, a typical participant has previously participated in an initial support group and/or individual counseling to address sexual trauma and will have developed an array of positive coping skills.

For more information or to sign up for the group please contact Betsy Trumbull, LCSW at 971-708-5771 or via email at betsyt@sarcoregon.org.

SARC offices are closed 1/18/16

SARC offices will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 18, 2016. Our support line services will be fully operating.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

We Are Open!

All SARC offices are open today, Wednesday, January 6th. The roads still have some ice, so be careful if you are out and about today.

SARC Offices Closed Tuesday, January 5th Due to Icy Roads

All SARC offices will remain closed on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 due to icy road conditions.

Our 24-hour Support Line will be available, and staff who are scheduled to be in the office today will be checking voicemails and e-mails.

 

 

Offices Closed Due to Inclement Weather

All SARC offices will remain closed Monday, January 4, 2016 due to icy road conditions.

Our 24-hour Support Line will be available, and staff who are scheduled to be in the office today will be checking voicemails and e-mails.