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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and we want to highlight how INTERSECTIONS of identities impact victimization of marginalized communities. Many of the systems that have been set up to address sexual assault are incredibly difficult to access for communities who have been purposefully cast aside, disbelieved, and excluded for much of our history. Disability accessibility issues, language barriers, legitimate fears of reporting to police, documentation status, low likelihood of prosecution, and individual concerns all can impact a survivor’s decisions about how to get help, and what help is actually available to them if they do. As a community-based non profit, with your support, we are able to fill many of the holes in the services available to survivors of sexual assault.
-More than 90% of all people with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities experience sexual assault.
-56% of Filipinas and 64% of Indian and Pakistani women had experienced sexual violence by an intimate partner.
-40% of women with disabilities experience sexual assault or physical violence.
-92% of sexually active Native/American Indian girls have been forced against their will to have sex.
-21-55% of Asian women report experiencing intimate physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime.
-Approximately 60% of Black girls experience sexual abuse by age 18.
We will be raising money all April long for our Survivor Financial Assistance Fund! These funds will be used to directly benefit survivors of sexual assault and other forms of abuse. With your support, we are able to continue providing FREE confidential, accessible, culturally responsive and trauma informed direct services to survivors and FREE community education to other agencies.
60% of our clients are seeking support with basic needs - your donation goes to tangible support for survivors of sexual assault, including:
$25 - Prescription medication
$25 - Book of bus tickets
$50 - Gas gift card for transportation and warmth
$50 - Lyft/Uber to court or medical appointments
$80 - Cell phone
$100 - Groceries
$300 - Language access services
$500-$1,500 Rental deposit assistance (rarely covered by other rental programs)
$100-$1,400 Emergency motel stay
$100-$2,000 Relocation to safety services
We all benefit from creating a culture that values consent, respects survivors, and supports those who have been wronged.
Follow along with us on social media as we announce details about events, a community webinar on Intersectionality and Abuse (4/16 at 12:00), and Fast Facts all month long! We appreciate support in whatever ways our community can give it, and there are ways for everyone to participate, regardless of financial contribution!
We sincerely thank you for your support.
The Initiative Team
ABOUT THE INITIATIVE
The Initiative was founded by local, queer, disabled, artists and activists in 1986 to begin addressing the unique needs of disabled sexual assault and domestic violence survivors. Disability justice and anti-abuse work are intimately tied together. Both movements rely on the ways that we make each other stronger, take care of each other, depend on each other, and support each other. Both movements are deeply intersectional at their hearts, and in order to be successful, require a commitment to recognizing the vast, complex, and nuanced experiences of human beings. Both movements also have an incredibly beautiful way of benefiting everyone in our communities. Just as everyone benefits from the availability of accessibility options, we all benefit from creating a culture that values consent, respects survivors, and supports those who have been wronged.
The Initiative works towards both of these goals as the only organization in Colorado, and one of very few in the country, providing direct victim services to survivors and specializing in those with disabilities. The Initiative is also one of the only victim services organizations that follows the “cross-disability model,” meaning that we do not focus on a specific sub-category of disability.
With the intersection of survivors and disability at our heart, we have been growing to encompass other underserved populations that also have higher rates of disability. With the help of community fundraising, we’ve been able to launch our dedicated LGBTQ+ Advocacy, Rural Advocacy, and Bilingual/Bicultural Advocacy programs. In each of our programs we provide one-on-one advocacy with survivors for as long as they need, focusing on whatever goals are the most important to them. We have also expanded our systems based advocacy program - Community Education - and we now offer 9 free presentations addressing systemic barriers that survivors of various identities face when accessing victim services.
Funds that we raise from the public are an invaluable resource for survivors. We are able to use this pool of money for things that tend to be restricted under government grants like rental deposit assistance, cell phones, small business costs, gas, prescription medication co-pays, haircuts, and certification fees. We recognize that sexual assault has so many impacts on a survivor that extend past the criminal legal system. We work closely with survivors as unique, independent, brilliant, individuals who know their own situation better than anyone else possibly could.
It's easy to link your King Soopers account to The Initiative! All you have to do is sign up once and use your King Soopers savings card or Alt Id every time you shop. This program is free for you and still generates donations for us! To use the King Soopers Rewards Program: simply search for The Initiative to connect us to your account. All quarterly earnings will go directly to fund our organization and the clients we serve!
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