Building a movement for health equity—fall at Peer Health Exchange

Dear Friends of Peer Health Exchange,

“I believe you. I am here for you.”

If a young person discloses they’ve survived sexual violence, we need to listen to them and help them access support. With the Kavanaugh hearings, young people across the country are disclosing and discussing their own experiences, and it’s as important a time as ever to make space for and empower them.

Young people ages 16 to 19 are 3 ½ times more likely to be sexually assaulted. Those numbers are even higher for LGBTQ+ youth and those from communities of color. Already more vulnerable than adults they navigate trauma uniquely. Regardless of age, the impact of sexual assault has lasting effects, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, “rape is about four times more likely to result in diagnosable PTSD than combat.”

Amidst all the conversation nationally, I’m reminded why we teach consent—a clear ‘yes’ at every step of sexual activity—to more than 17,000 young people in classrooms across the U.S. Every student has a right to have the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to make healthy decisions about their bodies—and how to treat each other with dignity and respect.

This fall, Peer Health Exchange will welcome hundreds of new college volunteers who join our shared movement towards health equity. By leading workshops in ninth grade classrooms, these near-peer health educators help reinforce each young person’s sense of agency, and build up skills in communication and decision-making. Understanding and supporting consent is essential to ensuring the health and safety of all young people.

Please join me in showing up for young people including survivors by sharing resources, letting them know they’re not alone, or simply listening without judgment.

Interested in learning more? Join us on a workshop visit, or connect with staff or volunteers to learn more.

With gratitude,

Louise Langheier
Co-Founder and CEO

 L-R clockwise: Sana Alnajjar; Claudia Lowe; Max Ackerman; Claudia Debruyn; Michael Martinez; Franc De Guzman; Isra Hasnain; Jyotsna Bitra; Tiff Besana; Angelika Kwak; Dyese Moody; Stella Udoetuk

Our fun and festive evening of beverages, appetizers, and stories will celebrate Peer Health Exchange’s work and impact over the past twelve years.

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