April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month!

By Sara Hart, Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator

To many people April is just another month of the year, but Nationally April is recognized and declared Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month. This is a time for us as a community to raise our voices and “Demand a Change, Change of Heart.” It is a time to raise awareness about these two very important issues that DO occur in our community to children, women and men.

1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually assaulted by the age of 18. Every 2 minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted according to the 2007 National Crime Victimization Survey. To put this in perspective, think of 3 close females and/or 6 close males. One of those females and/or males is more then likely a victim/survivor of sexual assault. As a community we can “Demand a Change, Change of Heart” by speaking to our friends and family members. Break the silence.

I am asked many times throughout the year, “What can I do?” Accept the fact that Sexual Assault and Child Abuse does occur in our community. Speak out about it, educate family and friends, talk to your children about their bodies and what a “safe” and “unsafe” touch is. Who can your child, sibling, niece/nephew tell if someone has touched them inappropriately. Lastly, always believe when someone tells you that they are being or have been sexually or physically assaulted.

April 7, 2011 has been designated as “Wear Blue and Teal Day.” By wearing the colors teal and blue or a ribbon you are showing your support for victim/survivors of Child Abuse and Sexual Assault. You are making a statement that there is no place in our community for Sexual assault and Child Abuse. You are “Demanding a Change, Change of Heart!”

For more information click here.