For survivors of sexual assault, this past week brought a maelstrom of emotions: disbelief, frustration, fury, and shame, to name a few. Radical Nurses stand with survivors of sexual assault. We respect those who are unable to share their stories as well as those who have spoken. As nurses, we practice trauma-informed care and recognize that trauma, such as sexual assault, can impact healthcare throughout the lifespan.
Despite Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s searing testimony against Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, the hearing ended with the Senate Judiciary’s confirmation of his nomination. A week-long F.B.I. background investigation into existing allegations of sexual assault and misconduct by Kavanaugh is the only remaining delay to a full Senate vote, possibly resulting in his life-time appointment to the Supreme Court.
This investigation has at least another week of play in the national media. While the phenom of largely women, defiantly giving public testimony of their assault, often resulting in death threats, is likely to continue. Meanwhile, an estimated 17.7 million women and 2.78 million men, have survived an attempted or completed rape, according to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. Some of the Radical Nurses are part of that number, others are allies of, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. We believe you.
If you are in need of help, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline, for confidential support. Call 800.656.HOPE (4673), you’ll be routed to a local RAINN affiliate organization based on the first six digits of your phone number. Cell phone callers have the option to enter the ZIP code of their current location to more accurately locate the nearest sexual assault service provider. Or for confidential, on-line chat: https://hotline.rainn.org/online/.
Vanessa Shields-Haas is a radical nurse and author of http://www.radicalnurses.com. She advocates for harm reduction approaches to care and reproductive freedom for women in the deep South.