Facebook Live Recap: Surviving Sexual Assault
by Nancy Jones on Oct 16, 2018
Ashley Thomas is the founder of an organization called The Hive Community Circle, a non-profit, faith-based organization that provides advocacy, support, and prevention and education services centered around sexual assault and intimate partner violence. The Hive works with the underserved populations of women and girls in and around Columbia, SC, mostly African American females, fulfilling an incredibly important role in the community.
Ashley was with WREN on September 18 to discuss more of The Hive’s mission, their methods, and the success they have achieved. The interview isn’t one to be missed: watch the full video below.
We are LIVE with Ashley Thomas of The HIVE Community Circle to discuss her work in the community and The Hive's upcoming screening. Comment with a bee emoji if you're watching and ask us any questions you may have! #SCWREN
Posted by Women's Rights and Empowerment Network- WREN on Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Here’s what Ashley had to say about the reality of sexual violence and The Hive’s work in the community:
- The single most important thing for survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence is community and peer support. Survivors tend to isolate themselves after the traumatic event.
- The topic of sexual assault is very taboo in African American culture, so even small things like changing the terminology you use can remove barriers to survivors accessing and following through with support services. One of The Hive’s community circles is called Queen’s Gather, for example, as opposed to a “support group”.
- Faith is at the core of the African American community, so it is critical that the system is revamped to prevent sexual assault and eliminate the stigma from survivors.
- There is a huge difference between what God’s word is, what the Bible says about sexual assault, and what men have twisted to say about sexual assault, which is often a rape culture that blames victims. The Hive’s faith-based approach separates the two so that a woman’s faith is once again a place of comfort and healing.
- The Hive focuses on educating leaders within the faith community about sexual assault, challenging traditional gender roles, and creating or revising sexual misconduct policies at churches and faith organizations so that cases of sexual assault are properly handled.
And finally, to end with a piece of advice that Ashley Thomas left us with: prevention of sexual violence happens when you come to the table and have an open conversation about it. You have to educate everyone about sexual assault and intimate partner violence. Don’t just engage the schools. Engage the parents, the workplaces, the faith communities, the public forums, so that the shift in perception permeates our whole culture.
Here are further sources of support for survivors of sexual violence and intimate partner violence.
National Sexual Assault Hotline:
- Visit https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline OR
- Call 800.656.HOPE (4673)
Both will connect you with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
- Call 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)
- Visit https://www.thehotline.org/
- Visit http://www.loveisrespect.org/for-yourself/contact-us/