Saturday, April 2, 2011

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

In 2001, April officially became Sexual Assault Awareness Month, but since the early 1970’s men and women alike have taken to the streets to march against sexual assault.

Every April, The Center sponsors an annual “Community March To Stop Sexual Assault.”  There is an old saying:  ”You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”  During the March, The Center asks men to literally walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes. It’s not easy walking in these shoes, but it can be fun and it gets the community to talk about something that’s really difficult to talk about: gender relations and sexual violence.

Last year, The Center provided critical services to over 100 sexual assault clients.   This year The Center has nearly doubled the number of counseling sessions for survivors of sexual assault.

 Similarly, our prevention efforts include 355 prevention education presentations to over 4,800 people, already exceeding last year’s efforts.  In addition, there are 15 schools in our community waiting for one or more of our prevention education programs.  We cannot meet this increased demand without your support.  Your donation to the March will enable The Center to provide these education programs.  The theme this year is…


Sexual assault is hard to see as a personal problem because we feel safer if we believe sexual violence only happens to certain types of people, behaving in certain ways, rather than accept that it could happen to us or someone we love.  It happens that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will be victims of sexual assault in their lifetime and 44% of the victims are under age 18.  The Center’s youngest client was 12 years old; the oldest client was 75 years old.

The Community March to Stop Sexual Assault is a positive avenue for teams of coworkers, families, neighbors and churches to stand up against sexual violence in our community. Your support is imperative to ending sexual violence and we invite you to participate at this event as a sponsor or a team leader.  Please Click here to support The Center’s work to end sexual violence.

This year’s event will be held at Town Hall in Placerville on Saturday, April 30th.  Our Education Director, Judy Knapp is putting together a program on how bystanders can get more involved when they witness sexual violence either in the form of a harassing comment or an actual act of rape.  The morning will begin with breakfast and registration at 8:30 and the program will begin at 9:30 am. The March down Main Street will begin at 10:00. We’ll be holding a special auction to see which local public figure will wear the Golden Slippers down main street!!

So, gather your family, friends, co-workers or your basketball team and join us! There will be prizes for the most pledges collected and the biggest teams! Click here for a Pledge Form 2011. $25.00 team registration includes team photo! Become a Team Captain, recruit your team, collect pledges and come March to Stop Sexual Assault!

We need to come together as a community and learn how to be more effective at Speaking UP and Speaking OUT against sexual violence. We are looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, April 30th.

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