NLC Member Highlight: Peter Church

Each month, RAINN features a member of its National Leadership Council (NLC). The NLC is a group of dedicated individuals who have shown their commitment to RAINN’s mission of supporting survivors and ending sexual violence. This month we checked in with longtime supporter, Peter Church.

Why are you passionate about ending sexual violence?

Sexual violence is an epidemic that impacts an astounding number of women and men across all demographics and industries. The numbers are both disheartening and unacceptable. We know that the need for change is particularly urgent on college campuses.

We’ve witnessed something rather remarkable the past several years. More and more people–including people we know–have come forward as survivors. These are people we know and love, and their courage in sharing their stories shows us that sexual violence doesn’t discriminate. Their stories also provide a foundation of hope, showing other victims that they are not alone.

One of the most essential elements of addressing sexual violence is support for those who are affected. This includes information and advocacy for sure; it also means offering support when people need it most.

The amazing people in RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline are essentially first responders. When a victim of sexual violence reaches out for help, RAINN is there to answer–offering confidential support services and compassion to survivors no matter where they are in their recovery.

How can we all be better supporters and advocates for survivors in our lives?

We all have the opportunity and the ability to provide support; all of us.

One of the first things we can do is create a forum for conversation; whether it’s discussing what kinds of speech and behaviors are acceptable versus unacceptable, or being willing to challenge assumptions that perpetuate a hostile or dangerous environment for women. Candid conversation helps to break down stereotypes and harmful attitudes.

Broad cultural change begins with people, one at a time. This means it’s critical for anyone to speak up when they see or hear behavior that doesn’t seem quite right. Sexual violence isn’t someone else’s problem–it is our collective problem to solve. Speaking up and speaking out is the first step in creating lasting change.

Another important way to become an even more effective advocate is to team up with others. The power of multiple voices cannot be understated on a movement to end sexual violence and provide unprecedented support for survivors.

Why did you want to be a part of RAINN’s National Leadership Council?

RAINN sits prominently at the intersection of social responsibility and access to necessary self-care and health care. It is an absolutely essential organization for our country, providing education and prevention resources and services for victims of sexual violence. I remain both honored and proud to be asked to be part of RAINN's National Leadership Council and participate in what I believe is an accountability to help end sexual violence and provide advocacy, support, and education for all survivors. The support RAINN offers changes and saves lives.

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