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Building Connected Communities is Center Stage for Violence Prevention

Together we can build connected communities, green graphic with illustrated people talking

“Liberated relationships are one of the ways we actually create abundant justice, the understand that there is enough attention, care, resource, and connection for all of us to access belonging, to be in our dignity, and to be safe in community.”

adrienne maree brown

As April comes to a close, here at WSCADV we’re reflecting on Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) and all the ways that advocates are showing up for violence prevention in their communities. This year’s #SAAPM theme, Building Connected Communities, reminds us that strong networks of support set the stage for safe, strong, and connected communities where all people can thrive. Whether a survivor has experienced abuse in their relationship or sexual violence (or in many cases, both), their access to supportive and affirming family, friends, and loved ones is vital to healing.

Over the years, we’ve seen just how important connected communities can be in addressing and preventing gender-based violence in our state. In our 2016 DV Fatality Review report, we identified “building the capacity of community to support survivors and respond to abusers” as an important step towards ensuring reduced cases of intimate partner-related homicide. This can’t happen if communities are isolated and lack access to safe, accessible gathering spaces where all voices can be heard.

As the National Sexual Assault Resource Center shared, “Community is powerful. Community creates a sense of belonging and reminds us of how our beliefs, choices, and actions impact one another… We must address all abuses of power to prevent sexual violence — in our relationships, communities, and society.” We believe that all human beings have inherent value, even when they cause harm. If we are to end the epidemic of intimate partner violence and sexual violence, we must create strong communities that have the tools needed to address and prevent violence and oppression in all its forms.

This April, and all year long, let’s show love to our communities, find ways to get connected, and take action for survivors!