Rural advocates are some of the most creative, fierce, and dedicated folks in the anti-sexual violence movement. With few resources and a large service area, rural programs across the country are still helping survivors navigate options and find healing. Rural programs bravely lead community conversations about sexual violence and are known as a space for information, exploration, and safety.
Yet we consistently hear from rural advocates that working with sexual assault survivors can be murky and confusing. Providing information and options is an important part of advocacy but it is often the intangible aspects of our work that are the most powerful, and the most difficult. Showing respect, validating emotions and fears, collaborating while maintaining boundaries, and remaining realistic while providing hope for the future- these can be hard lines to walk. In rural communities, these skills can be even harder to practice.
The toolkit below will help you explore your rural advocacy practice and build your capacity to provide comprehensive sexual assault services. For more exploration, conversations, collaboration, brainstorming, or connection with rural peers reach out to your rural technical assistance provider, Leah Green (firstname.lastname@example.org).