I want to work to support sexual assault survivors. How can I do that?

Q:

I want to work to support sexual assault survivors. How can I do that?

A:

With any job that has to do with working with individuals it is important to know why you are doing the job and or want to do the job. When working with people it is important to have a lot of education.

When I say education, some people assume that I mean you have to have a degree; higher ed is not for everyone.

If you are interested in working with survivors, whether survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence, it is important to know about this particular population as it can be a very delicate position to support those that have been through trauma. Look into taking some classes that may be able to assist you. Supporting survivors is not something you just wake up one day and start doing.

In addition, this type of work is something you have to really have a passion for because while there will be amazing days, there will also be some really hard days. This kind of work also takes a toll on the people who choose to do it.

Start with taking some training and classes. From there, look into doing volunteer work with the particular population that you are looking to work with. Learning more about what's out there can help you understand if this particular field is right for you. Find out what kind of centers there are that cater to the particular population that you want to work with. Volunteer there a few hours a week if you can. This will help you build your knowledge and understanding of the field.

Finally, some people find that once they get into helping people, they realize that they still have a lot of their own traumas that they need to work through. It can be a lot to hold space for those that have gone through traumatic experiences. Keep this in mind and remember to continue your own healing journey as well.

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Written by Jimanekia Eborn
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Jimanekia Eborn has worked in mental health for the last 10 years, which is where she saw the need for sexual education and sexual trauma support. This has led to her passion for assisting and supporting those that are sexual assault survivors and those without access to comprehensive sex education. Her compassion and passion for these populations has pushed her to continue building safe spaces for clientele, sharing education, and supporting their mental spaces.

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