For the last several years, the opioid epidemic has been making headlines with growing frequency. From political podiums to religious pulpits, from Facebook comments to front page news, everyone is talking about people overdosing on opioids and what can be done about it.
How is the primary prevention of sexual violence linked to substance abuse, and how can we connect both of these public health issues?
As sexual assault advocates, we serve anyone who seeks services, including children, adults, people in later life, and youth. Certain age groups across the lifespan can be challenging for advocates to work with for a range of reasons outside the survivor’s control.
It’s critical that we understand the connection between addiction and sexual violence.
by Karla Vierthaler, MPA, Advocacy and Resources Director for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center
I’ve been working as an advocate to end sexual violence for 20 years. That is really irrelevant, because if you’ve done this work for even a year (paid, unpaid, professionally or not), you’ve done it for 50. It stays with you and becomes part of you.