Heroes and Heroines who are LOUD About Sexual Assault

Heroes and Heroines who are LOUD About Sexual Assault

“What are you doing to stop sexual assault and sexual violence?”

That’s what Haley Higgins asked the guests at our BE LOUD Breakfast this past February.

It’s a good question, especially for April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month. And it turns out a lot of people are doing some impressive things – so I wanted to share with you my personal list of heroines and heroes.

At the top of my list are the victims who come forward and speak out about their experience. This is not an easy step to take. There are many reasons for choosing not to speak out: fear, pressure from friends and family, threats from the offender, shame, and desire to stay out of the public eye. These victims are willing to face their pain straight on and they come out on the other side stronger. But it is a daunting step. Yet, every day, victims step forward to speak out and BE LOUD about what happened to them. If they don’t speak out, we can’t stop sexual assault. 

Parents, guardians, and other family members, who support, listen, and stand with the victim. Fathers who say “I believe you, and this isn’t your fault” or mothers who promise “I’ll be with you all the way through this.”At the same time parents may be grappling with their own grief, rage, and pain over what has happened to their child. 

KCSARC Staff who are compassionate, dedicated, and fearless. Each day they hear the victims’ stories; they shoulder the hurt, anger, frustration, and fear of the victim and family. And at the same they skillfully navigate, trouble shoot, focus, and advocate through the multiple systems to help victims regain their voice and their power.

 Also on my list are two local leaders who are actively working to stop sexual violence.

Representative Tina Orwall (from the 33rd  legislative district), who introduced HB 1068,the bill requiring that law enforcement submit a request for new rape kits to be tested within 30 days of receipt. HB 1068 also establishes a commission to determine how to proceed with older untested kits. This is a common sense bill didn’t have the smooth passage one would have hoped for. However, thanks to strong advocacy on the part of Rep. Orwall and victims’ advocates including KCSARC, the bill has been voted out of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, and is hopefully on track for approval.

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, who just a few months into her new job, said “it’s the right thing to do to test all rape kits.” Period. Refreshing. Heroic.

Heroism is about standing up and standing with, speaking out and BEING LOUD.


Its been a very sensitive

Its been a very sensitive topic to discuss and also needs courage to speak as it came with so many side effects of it,which is tough to handle for a common lady and her family as well.

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I'm still loud!! :-)

Ever since 2003 when I was raped, I worked with ksarc and Mary Ellen to raise awareness and make a difference. To this day I still speak out loud and proud so that others will benefit from it and in remembrance to make aware, heal, stop, and whatever else. I'm here in anchorage Alaska now still doing the same thing here. I treasure my time supporting WA state and those I know I made a difference to. Being loud means we're fighting back and our perpetrators never won. An update on my rapist... Parole came up in September for him after 12 years and with my speaking out again I helped keep him behind bars again. Still doing what I can so he can't hurt anyone else.

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