April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Sexual assault and child abuse affects every part of our communities. Approximately 1 in 10 children experience child sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. In up to 90 percent of all child sexual abuse cases, the child knew the offender. Studies show that an estimated 12.1 million women have been raped in the United States, with a sexual assault occurring every two minutes.
During this month, HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow Counties, Inc. (HelpLine) will offer programming to raise public awareness and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence and child abuse.
“Sexual assault and child abuse permeates and deteriorates society as a whole,” said Nancy Radcliffe, Sexual Assault Services Director at HelpLine. “The effect of this can be seen in related problems at our schools, on campuses, within families, at workplaces, and within our communities. Its pervasiveness demands a collective response in the form of education, intervention and accountability.”
We invite you to join us by attending one or more of the activities held throughout the month of April – help to spread awareness and prevention.
Each program slated during the month is a continuum of efforts to bring about change, promote healing, justice, and to create a tomorrow free of sexual violence and abuse. We are pleased to offer the following awareness activities:
• Wednesdays, April16, 23, 30, May 7, 2014, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) – Self-Defense for the LGBTQI Community. To register or for more information, contact Lauren at BRAVO at 614‐294‐7867 or lauren@bravo‐ohio.org Location: Columbus Public Health, 240 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, Ohio
• Saturday, April 26, 2014, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. BLOOM! Sexual Assault Survivor Workshop HelpLine’s Sexual Assault Response Network (SARN) is putting on another “BLOOM!” event. This year, we will be doing a workshop where participants will make and learn how to use Glitter Jars as a hands-on tool for self-regulation. To register or find out more information for this free, confidential, and supportive event, please contact Nora Flanagan, SARN Coordinator at HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow Counties, at 740.363.1835 x105, email her at Nflanagan@helplinedelmor.org. Location: Disclosed upon registration.
• Tuesday, April 29, 2014, Morning: 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. or Evening: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Stewards of Children – Adults Resolving Child Sexual Abuse Presented by HelpLine Registration required: email@example.com or call Shilo at 740-363-1835 ext. 118 – see description above. Location: 950 Meadow Drive, Mt. Gilead, Ohio 43338.
Other community events include:
• Friday, April 11, 2014, National Day of Silence On April 11th, youth in Delaware will be participating in the Day of Silence in their schools
• April 11 & 25, 2014, Denim Day Don’t Stand By, Stand Up! Eliminate Sexual Violence and Dress Down for “Denim Day.” Why Denim? In 1998, a teenage girl in Italy was raped by her driving instructor. He was tried and convicted and sentenced to jail; his case went to the Supreme Court of Appeals in Rome. The court overturned the original ruling stating that because “the victim wore very tight jeans she had to help remove them, thereby giving consent to have sex.” On Denim Day, wear your jeans as a visible sign of protest against the myths that still surround sexual violence.
• Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 7th Annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month Conference – Responding to Elder Abuse Presented by the Central Ohio Sexual Assault Task Force (COSATF). For more information and to register, go to http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1523422/April-16-2014-SAAMConference- Registration. Location: Ohio Department of Transportation/Ohio Department of Public Safety Auditorium Lower Level, 1980 W. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43223
• Saturday, April 26, 2014, 9 a.m. 2nd Annual 5K Run/Walk Race to Eliminate Sexual Violence Proceeds to benefit Deaf World against Violence Everywhere (DWAVE) and Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) and Climate of Change. For more information and to register, go to https://www.premierraces.com/viewevent.asp?eventID=979. Location: Wolfe Park, Bexley, Ohio
• Saturday, May 10, 2014, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Women’s One Day Self-Defense Course VSAW Self Defense is offering a Women’s One Day Self-Defense course for the community of Delaware. This is a 9 hour class that covers sexual assault information, legal aspects of self-defense, basic, easy to learn striking motions (e.g. hits and kicks), self-awareness, verbal defense skills, and empowerment for women and Survivors. Cost is $29 per person or for groups of 3 or more $59 for individual registration. To register online go to www.vsaw.net or contact Shilo Gall at 614-507-5703 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Location: Andrews House, Delaware, Ohio.
Sue Hanson is Executive Director of HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow Counties, a private, non-profit organization that provides a 24-hour crisis support hotline, information, and referrals to direct services and advocacy.