Sexual Assault Awareness Month with Brave Step and Modern Salon

CHARLOTTE – Words that make you stop and listen – sexual assault.

For Crystal Emrick, those two spine tingling words have been in her vocabulary for years,  but her trauma turned around and became something positive-  Brave Step.

“Brave step is a local nonprofit that works to empower anyone impacted by sexual violence,” Emrick says.  “We focus on adult survivors, loved ones allies and overall the community.”

“When I moved to Charlotte, through a very long journey of trying to find well being near the end of it, i just felt called and i felt that it was something more needed to be done for so many people just like me, and it started trying to figure out what that looked like and it was a three year exploration into what needed to be done, what could be done and and also being vulnerable with what happened to me.”

Brave Step offers peer groups, individual counseling and empowerment programs for survivors that come to them for aid. With April being sexual assault awareness month, Brave Step decided to offer something a little more fun. 

“With sexual assault awareness month and child abuse prevention month,” said Emrick, “we really wanted to make a statement and create a way for people to do something to themselves on themselves that showed that they’re an advocate and they’re in support of what we’re doing.”

Modern salon is offering fairy hair as well as blue extensions.

Val Mati is the Senior Director at Modern Salon and says they’re not just hair stylists, they’re much more than that.

“We’re more like the therapist, but also a really good friend. They open up to us with more things than they ever opened up with. It’s beautiful thing to be able to have that connection with them, but also create that safe environment for them that they can open up and say anything to us.”

“Being that as a female dominant business. it’s so important for us to take care of our girls. We’re here for them, anything that they need whether it is something terrible that has happened to their life, it’s  a very unfortunate situation, but most importantly, we’re here to support them and make them feel beautiful.”

While Modern Salon and Brave Step are finding the light in a dark situation, many survivors still struggle with the pain of their assault daily, and try to find a way to cope with it. 

As for Emrick’s message to survivors who haven’t come forward for help yet-?

“I would say I love you. I applaud you and I think what you’re doing is amazing to consider coming forward right and then to actually take that step is worth popping a bottle of champagne.”