'My job is full of hope': A Conversation with KCSARC's Prevention Services Specialist

We asked Rachel Taylor, Prevention Services Specialist at KCSARC, questions about the the changes in sexual assault prevention, what she enjoys about her work, and where she has seen positive progress in the public's perception of sexual violence.

What do you think has changed for the better in the public's perception about sexual assault?

One positive change that I have seen is that sexual assault is increasingly becoming part of the public dialogue.

We still have a lot of work to do, but I have noticed the conversation around sexual violence coming to the forefront, which is a major step in breaking the silence that has surrounded it for so long.

It is inspiring to see survivors of sexual assault taking the stage at the Grammy Awards, communities watching and holding discussions on documentaries such as The Hunting Ground, politicians such Joe Biden continuing to work to end campus sexual assault, and a public that came out in such strong support of the survivor in the Stanford rape case.

Examples like these show me that change is possible and it is happening; we are all responsible for continuing on this path by creating spaces that confront sexual violence and support survivors, rather than silencing and shaming those who experience it.

(Pictured above, L-R: Rachel Taylor, KCSARC Prevention Services Specialist and Bridget Yule, KCSARC supporter and speaker.) 

What do you think remains the biggest challenge in the public's perception about sexual assault?

I think one of the biggest challenges we face in ending sexual assault is the pervasiveness of a rape culture that continues to normalize and excuse violence in ways that allow it to continue.

Sexual assault does not happen in a vacuum, and stopping it requires us to look at the much larger picture of our society and the many ways sexual violence intersects with all forms of oppression.

To end sexual violence, every one of us is going to have not only understand, but change, the ways our culture continues to send the message that violence is normal and inevitable.

What do you think is the #1 thing a person can do to help prevent sexual assault?

Talk about it.

Conversation can be such an incredibly powerful tool in helping people learn about consent, boundaries, and healthy relationships, as well as in building communities that do not tolerate sexual violence.

I would encourage people to take a look at our 100 Conversations Tool for help in starting these discussions with the youth in their lives. By starting the conversation with your kids, your students, your neighbors, and your community groups, you are sending the message that wecan and do talk about this here.

How long have you been at KCSARC?

I have been doing power-based violence prevention work since 2011, and joined the KCSARC team at the end of 2015.

When you speak with friends or family about your work, what is your hope for what they understand/take way about your job?

I want my friends and family to know that my job is full of hope, and that I count myself lucky to be a part of the change KCSARC is working toward every day.

I also want them to know that they play a very important role in ending sexual violence too. I get to do prevention work full-time, but the conversations they have every day, wherever they are and whoever they’re with, make an enormous impact; it really does take all of us. 


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