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Charlottesville mayor’s invocation of rape in Facebook poem could trigger trauma responses in survivors

The Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) says that direct, explicit language about sexual...
The Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) says that direct, explicit language about sexual assault can often trigger anxiety and trauma responses in survivors, even unintentionally.(WVIR)
Updated: Mar. 25, 2021 at 6:22 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - For many, a sore spot with Mayor Nikuyah Walker’s recent poem on Facebook was that she invoked rape in her reflection on Charlottesville.

The Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) says direct and explicit language about sexual assault can trigger anxiety and trauma responses in survivors.

SARA says that it’s not their place to police people’s language, and is not directly criticizing the mayor’s statement, but they encourage everyone to be mindful of the effect their words and word choice can have.

“Words have weight and that they have, that they have reactions, maybe even ways that we don’t anticipate or we didn’t imagine,” SARA Executive Director Renee Branson said. “So, you know, that is something that I think we all, you know, can all consider and think about.”

SARA has resources available for survivors at all times with a 24 hour hotline. That number is (434) 977-7273.

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