Campaigning to prevent sexual assault

To the editor:

On behalf of Sexual Assault Services of Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York, we write to remind our community that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As we align with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s theme, “Engaging New Voices,” we encourage folks in the area to build on the idea that we are stronger together. It is our hope that new partners and community members will help the next generation foster attitudes that promote healthy relationships, equality and respect.

Nearly one in five women and one in 71 men are victims/survivors of sexual assault (Black et al., 2011). We have the power to change that. Our actions, big and small, have a ripple effect on those we teach, guide and influence. From modeling healthy behavior to addressing inappropriate conduct, everyone can make a difference.

Changing beliefs which contribute to sexual violence starts with believing victims/survivors of sexual violence when they share their stories. You can call out victim-blaming comments or rape jokes if you see them online. Sexual assault is never the victim’s/survivor’s fault. Seemingly small actions like this make a critical impact.

Please engage this April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month by promoting awareness. Learn more about how you can use your voice to change the culture by contacting SAS at 518-561-0605, or check out www.nsvrc.org/saam.

We at SAS make it our mission to, above all else, believe, listen and support the victims/survivors we work with. If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, please call our local hotline at 1-877-212-2323 where a certified rape crisis counselor can assist you 24/7 with supportive counseling, medical or law enforcement accompaniment, and referrals.

With appreciation,

Shelli LaVoie

SAS Coordinator

Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York, Inc.

Plattsburgh

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