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The presence of an organization like STAR has a tremendous impact on a community. Because sexual violence remains largely hidden in our communities due to the shame, stigma and taboo associated with the experience, STAR promotes awareness of the issue to the public at large and serves as a beacon for survivors to seek help and refuge.
As one of our clients put it:
“You never know how important an organization like STAR is until you experience something as unexpected and horrifying as a sexual assault; then, you don’t know how you would make it through without them.”
Trauma can fundamentally alter a person’s worldview and diminish their sense of hope and possibility, effects which are compounded by isolation and a lack of support in the aftermath of trauma. STAR strives to be a beacon of light and hope for survivors, providing immediate and long-term reminders that they are not alone, that someone understands, believes them and cares about what happens to them.
Similarly, the belief that sexual violence is inevitable affects a community’s worldview and sense of hope and possibility. STAR’s presence in a community creates a community that is not just more informed about sexual trauma, but more hopeful about the possibility of ending sexual violence. Where there once seemed to be darkness and dead ends, STAR strives diligently to light a way forward.