Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Chances are you’ve spotted some tiny teal ribbons around lately, maybe around your college campus, at the doctors or pharmacist, online, or in the newspaper. Those support ribbons are part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The entire month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and today is the national day of action for sexual assault awareness. Staggering statistics emphasize the need to raise awareness about these crimes. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. These frightening statistics make activism all the more necessary.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is dedicated to raising awareness about sexual violence – primarily sexual assault and rape—and educating the world on prevention. This year’s campaign created by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center is about preventing sexual violence in our work place. According the NSVRC, between 1993 and 1999, 36,500 U.S. employees experienced sexual assault or rape while working or on duty. Sexual violence in the workplace is unfortunately common, and the consequences of an attack not only affect survivors but businesses as well. This April, we hope to send a message about respectful and responsible behavior. Partner with your employer by advocating for sexual assault communication in your workplace.

Planned Parenthood is committed to supporting Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Rape Crisis Service of Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region offers crisis intervention and support services to women, children, and men who are victims of sexual assault. Our 24-hour hotline is available to anyone dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault. RCS is currently recruiting for Rape Crisis Volunteer Advocates. For more information about becoming a volunteer or upcoming trainings, visit the RCS website.

During the month of April look out for the many opportunities to donate your voice and your stories towards sexual assault awareness.

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