By Lina Wolf
The topic of sexual assault can be uncomfortable for people to speak about. Understandably, events of that nature can be emotionally draining, particularly for people who are survivors themselves. This makes it all the more important for programs like Porchlight Counseling Services to continue outreach efforts that will help the topic stay in the public discussion. Although it can be challenging at times to get people to engage in Porchlight educational outreach events, the reward is being able to provide information to survivors, and the friends and loved ones of survivors. There remains a stigma surrounding sexual violence and mental health that needs to be addressed through educational workshops so that survivors feel safe to seek the counseling services they require to move forward with their lives.
The Porchlight Counseling Services program of the Center for Law and Social Work aims to ramp up its educational outreach efforts in 2020. Through presentations at school fairs and tabling events, the Porchlight program will seek to inform students of the impact of social media on survivors, teach students about healthy relationships, provide essential information to students about the resources and services available to survivors of sexual assault on college campuses, and show students that programs like Porchlight care about supporting survivors on their road to healing. In 2020, the Porchlight Counseling Services Program will teach school communities about prevention, intervention, and strategies to support survivors.