Officials in Fairfax County observed on Thursday as “Teal Out Day” to raise awareness against sexual violence.
One in four women and one in six men will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. Many wore teal to show their support for survivors. Those in support encourage others to be the one to believe survivors by listening to their stories. Officials say the goal is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it.
“The first person a survivor discloses to will determine their path, whether they seek services or not,” Angela Acosta, sexual assault specialist said.
“If somebody discloses to you that they’ve been a victim of sexual violence the first place we want you to start is by believing them and let them know you believe them. You could even say I believe you thank you for telling me,” Kathryn Harlow, sexual assault specialist said.
Experts say you should also reassure a victim that they haven’t done anything wrong.
If you or someone you know is a victim you can call your local hotline for help.