This summer, I have been fortunate to work as a Digital & Social Media intern for NO MORE. The issues of domestic violence and sexual assault have always been important to me. Currently, I work on my own college campus at Michigan State University as a Peer Educator. I teach freshman and sophomore students how to be an active bystander, what consent means, and how to access resources within our community. It can be intimidating speaking to and educating 30 people in a classroom, let alone the whole world like NO MORE strives to do.
For the past month, I have had the opportunity to peek behind the curtain and witness the dedication and hard work behind NO MORE, the largest and most successful domestic violence and sexual assault awareness and engagement initiative in history. With 1,400 allied organizations and over 40 state, local, and international chapters, NO MORE is bringing its message of prevention to the entire world.
With one in four women and one in seven men experiencing intimate partner violence and 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men having experienced sexual violence in their lives, we know that this message is desperately needed.
For those of us in the domestic and sexual violence prevention field, our voice is only as strong as the people who carry our message forward.
As an intern, I assisted with NO MORE’s online communications, creating posts and content to incite interest in our message and engage our existing audience of survivors, activists, and allies. The response and engagement we see is inspiring and has taught me that, no matter the size of your audience, you can still have a resounding impact on those around you when it comes to preventing domestic and sexual violence.
I’ve learned more than anything from this experience the importance of increasing awareness as a global community. Each voice speaking out against domestic violence and sexual assault makes an impact. It’s critical to use our own voices to inspire change and to encourage others to speak out as well. From those who have dedicated their life to this mission like the NO MORE team and myself, to someone who is not engaged in the prevention movement at all, we all have the potential and responsibility to make a difference. Sharing statistics, providing support resources, or being there for someone in their healing journey as a survivor can all help.
For my own work at my university, I hope I can inspire other students to be part of the change we want to see on our campus. My job at Michigan State has taught me that as students, we are never alone, a message I share with them frequently. My time with NO MORE has made me more confident in the truth behind this message, because I have now been exposed to a global community dedicated to empowering and assisting people in their unique journeys.
One of the things we emphasize at NO MORE is that you don’t have to be a survivor to be part of the community advocating for these issues. I hope to teach my own peers that anyone can be an ally, because by doing so, you could help a survivor in your life. It’s very likely that within your own family or friend group, you know someone who has been impacted. By speaking out and simply trying to help, you become part of ending the stigma and shame survivors are often burdened with. For those of us in the domestic and sexual violence prevention field, our voice is only as strong as the people who carry our message forward.
We look to our supporters to spread this message of prevention, safety, and equality to their friends, family, and peers. For any person feeling that they are without a voice or losing hope, I wish to remind them that you have a fierce team of women at NO MORE tirelessly working to give you hope, visibility, and support. And to our supporters and survivors: you inspire us. We believe you, we see you, we support you, and your courage and resilience will always be the driving force behind our work.