There are many people in our community working to create positive change to end sexual violence. We want to meet as many of them as possible. If you would like to submit a recommendation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When working on large social issues such as sexual assault, it is sometimes hard to see the impact you are making because it is one step at a time. But when you think about each individual survivor that you have helped, there is nothing more rewarding. –Lindsey Miller
1. What is your relationship with STAR?
LM: I started working with STAR as an advocacy intern this past summer. I have also volunteered with STAR since May as a hotline and medical advocate.
2. What led you to get involved with STAR and/or join the movement to end sexual violence?
LM: For the first two years of college I was a part of Air Force ROTC. Through that experience, I started to hear about instances of sexual assault in the armed forces. When I started to research military sexual trauma, I was shocked by how prevalent it was, and how many victims did not receive trauma-informed care. When I decided to pursue a career working on military sexual assault response, I wanted to start assisting sexual assault victims in my community.
3. What do you find most rewarding about your participation in this movement?
LM: The most rewarding part is talking with survivors directly. When working on large social issues such as sexual assault, it is sometimes hard to see the impact you are making because it is one step at a time. But when you think about each individual survivor that you have helped, there is nothing more rewarding.
4. What motivates you to keep going when things get difficult or discouraging?
LM: When I start to feel discouraged, I like to talk to the other advocates. There is a strong support system within the movement, because most likely the other advocates have felt the same things you are feeling now. When we get together, we can talk, encourage one another, and remind each other why we are a part of this movement and the difference that we have made.
5. What are some simple, day-to-day ways you promote positive change in our community?
LM: Talk. I love to just talk about sexual assault to my friends, family, and sometimes strangers. Sexual violence is something that a lot of people don’t want to think about, much less talk about it. But by just talking about it, people start to realize that some of their beliefs about sexual violence are wrong and harmful to victims. It is a simple way to begin the conversation so that people start to think about sexual violence and what their actions can mean.
6. What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant about becoming an active member of this movement?
LM: The main advice would be to believe that you can help create change. When I first thought about volunteering, I was terrified that I would mess up and say the wrong thing. But when I finally started, I saw that victims usually just want someone to listen to them or sit with them. If you can believe a victim, then you can absolutely help them. You don’t have to be a psychologist to be a volunteer. If you care about victims of sexual assault, then you can absolutely be a positive member of the movement.