Nonviolent Answers to Tough Subject: April Is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Originally published April 18, 2012

Susan B. Anthony said, “Woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself.”

Sexual assault survivor and FFL speaker Joyce McCauley-Benner adds to Anthony’s sentiment, “Because in doing so, they will realize the power that lies within them to overcome, to heal, to live happily.” Joyce adds, “Decades after Susan B. Anthony fought for women’s rights, her message continues to ring true today. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It is often devoted to survivors’ speak-outs, self-defense training, and raising awareness about sexual violence against women. The message behind these movements is not that men are the enemy, rather, women (and all survivors) are the heroes. We are the ones who overcome, who journey deep inside to find the power to heal and to overcome any difficult situation. Let us never forget this, especially this April, how powerful we truly are and how life-giving that empowerment is. Spread the message!”

I invite you to read and share Joyce’s message to men.

This month, you may want to post and share our ad featuring abortion survivor Rebecca Keissling, who was conceived through sexual assault. She asks, “Did I deserve the death penalty?” FFL’s ad appeared in Glamour magazine earlier when they did a feature article on this hot topic. Join the emotionally-charged conversation right now on Facebook.

In addition to participating in Take Back the Night and other events, read or share the current issue of The American Feminist® , “Forward into Light,” which features forty pages of insightful articles examining coerced abortion, pornography, stalking, intimate partner violence, human trafficking, and sexual assault.

If you don’t have the latest issue of The American Feminist, entitled “Forward into Light,” it’s because your membership or support has lapsed. I urge you to renew. Let me know you didn’t get this issue and I’ll send you a back copy. Or if you haven’t joined FFL yet, I strongly encourage you to get this issue by joining FFL NOW to receive both “Forward Into Light” and my “Pro-Woman Answers to Pro-Choice Questions.”

I also encourage you to follow us on Facebook to keep up with all we are doing! FFL Vice President Sally Winn was at the University of Idaho Monday night, and yesterday I moderated the 16th annual FFL Pregnancy Resource Forum at Georgetown University. This model inspired many other campuses and the Pregnancy Assistance Fund!

I’ll be at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in historic St. Mary’s, Maryland next week to present “The Feminist Case Against Abortion,” and later this month, Sally will be in Trinidad to speak at both a plenary session and workshop on Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28 to present “Refuse to Choose: Reclaiming Feminism” at the “Stabilizing Our Future” Conference in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. As always, if you’re near these events, we hope you will join us.

Write to inquire about having Joyce, Sally, or myself speak at your upcoming campus event, conference, or banquet. Book early for the fall!

Finally, it’s important to be able to talk about the subject of rape and abortion. I invite you to read and forward my “Pro-Woman Answers to Pro-Choice Questions,” specifically, “What about rape?”

If we can’t answer the most difficult questions about abortion and alternatives, who will? Listening to the voices of women like Joyce can help us move “Forward into Light.”

Because women deserve better,
Serrin Foster