When I started We Will, I did so because I saw that there was no other nonprofit which primarily focused on the prevention of sexual assault. Rather, most organizations I had seen were interested in helping survivors. This is a noble cause, one which We Will has also taken on, and I love everything that these groups were and are doing, but I also know that sexual assault is preventable, so why only focus on what happens after someone's assaulted?
I went to a nearby college's Title IX Office and asked this question, only to find out that they were starting to focus more on prevention and that they too recognized this need. When I heard this I was excited to know that the university was making the critical efforts needed to prevent sexual assault, but I also started to wonder, if an organization as large as a university Title IX office was focusing on prevention, was my organization now irrelevant? I started to feel insecure about We Will and about if my work actually mattered and was enough.
It was later that week that I received an email from a Title IX coordinator. They stated that they were impressed with my knowledge of prevention techniques and I was surprised and humbled to learn that the office sought my input as to what I believe the university could best do to prevent sexual assault. While this email was only a small thing, it made me realize that there is a place for every organization to assist in this great effort. The Title IX office may presently have a larger reach, but its reach may not be as effective without the information and research We Will provides it. While We Will may have a more personal touch than a Title IX office, the office presently has more connections which can be used for prevention efforts. A Title IX office can take action with a large number of students on campus, but We Will's reach is theoretically unlimited. Thus, it is the united effort between We Will and Title IX that will produce the best results.
This applies to any organizations working on similar or even the same issue. Each has its place. Each has strengths. Each has areas in which it can grow. It is with a united effort that each organization can have the largest reach and can make the most difference in their communities.
This is the same of every person working on these issues. Without the efforts of others, We Will would be nothing. It is the united efforts of We Will and the community that brings about the greatest change. So get involved. If you have ideas, let us know. We will end sexual assault, but only with your, and others' participation.