TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a guest commentary by Alexis Gonzales, crisis advocate for CODAC Health, Recovery & Wellness, Inc. Viewers with responsible opposing views are welcome to respond by clicking HERE.
Last week, Time magazine named the Silence Breakers as "2017 Person of the Year," applauding those who have bravely spoken out about sexual assault and harassment, shining a light on an issue that is all too prevalent. 1 in 6 American women will be raped.
Think about it.
When you're sitting around the table this holiday season, you're likely next to someone who has been raped. Have they told you? Will they?
What you say is important –even life-saving. One third of women who are raped contemplate suicide and 13% attempt it.
Here's what you can do. First: believe them.
Let them know that they are not to blame for what happened and there is NOTHING that justifies rape.
Let them know it's okay to talk – or not to talk – about it. Listen without judgment.
And, finally, tell them about the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault 24/7 hotline or visit our Web site for more information.
Fortunately, more people feel empowered to come out about their experiences of assault and harassment. Now it's our turn to show up with support.