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'You are not alone.' Trauma therapist sheds light on sexual assault

Sexual violence is a major issue in our community that needs to be addressed. In conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Radio Milwaukee will be sharing Community Stories with experts in this complex field. We want to let you know up front that this story covers the difficult topic of sexual violence.

April is national Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this month Radio Milwaukee is doing our part to bring attention to this difficult issue. We're focusing on education, and we're learning from trusted local experts.

Simmone Stovall Kilgore is a trauma therapist with Advocate Aurora Healing and Advocacy services. Her focus is working therapeutically with survivors of sexual and domestic violence.

She says news and entertainment media often shape people's views on sexual and domestic violence, which can create harmful stereotypes.

"And we assume that it's always someone else, a group of folks, a type of person. And what we know is that sexual assault and domestic violence affects many different types of people, men and women. And those that don't identify as either, all types of nationalities, different social, economic backgrounds, different religions and cultures, heritages," Stovall says.

She says 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men are affected by some form of sexual assault in their lives in the U.S. It's a problem that is widely known in the medical field, but as a society, we tend not to talk about it, she says.

Listen our conversation below, and visit our dedicated resource page with links to organizations offering local, 24/7 help.