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% 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, April 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7, 2014, 6 pm – 8 pm
Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) – Self-Defense for the LGBTQI Community -Spring 2014 Class
Learn VERBAL, MENTAL, & PHYSICAL self-defense skills to resist an attack – This class is FREE and open to all people, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Empowerment, Physical Activity, and FUN guaranteed! This class meets for 5 consecutive weeks, two hours at a time. 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
Thursday, April 10, 2014, 9 am – 12:15 pm
Stewards of Children – Adults Resolving Child Sexual Abuse Presented by HelpLine
Registration required: http://connectionsvolunteercenter.org/training/ or call Erin at Connections (740-363-5000) Darkness to Light’s® Stewards of Children is a revolutionary sexual abuse prevention training presentation for adults. Darkness to Light says, “We believe that learning the facts about childhood sexual abuse helps prevent it. Talking about it helps prevent it. Getting involved helps prevent it. The truth is, if childhood sexual abuse can be prevented, it can be stopped.” HelpLine agrees and is committed to protecting our children by empowering adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse through our Stewards of Children training. Designed for organizations that serve children and youth, concerned parents and community members, the training teaches that protecting children is an adult’s job. For more information visit, http://www.d2l.org/site/c.4dICIJOkGcISE/b.6194927/k.C8FD/About_Us.htm Location: Council for Older Adults, 800 Cheshire Road Delaware, OH 43015
Saturday, April 26, 2014, 1 pm – 3 pm
BLOOM! Sexual Assault Survivor Workshop
HelpLine’s Sexual Assault Response Network (SARN) is putting on another “BLOOM!” event. These events, such as the annual retreat, focus on empowerment and healing for female sexual assault survivors. 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. Kate Fox, LPC will be leading this workshop as she uses these jars in her own practice with adults and children as an exercise in relaxation, grounding, and centering. Participants are invited to choose colors that calm and please them, then simply shake the jar to activate the swirling glitter. It serves as a pretty, fun, and easy way to practice breathing and simple meditation. Fox says “It is also an opportunity to acknowledge and be astonished at the capacity to heal. Because, even when we are shaken, there is still beauty.” 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 am – 12:30 pm or Evening: 6 pm – 9 pm
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 HelpLine endorsed 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. Bullying and harassment are major problems for lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, and questioning students. On this day, students across the state and nationally will recognize the Day of Silence. The Day of Silence, a project of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), is a student-led movement where those who support making anti-LGBTQ bias unacceptable in schools take a day-long vow of silence to recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment experienced by LGBTQ students.
April 11 & 25, 2014
Don’t Standy 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.” The case made international headlines and the young woman’s jeans became a symbol of the many misconceptions still surrounding sexual violence, such as there is a “correct” way for someone to respond during an assault and what someone wears can be an excuse for rape. Wearing Jeans has become an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. 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). This conference is open to Advocates, Law Enforcement, Prosecutors, lawyers, SANEs and other service providers working with victims of interpersonal violence in Ohio. The purpose of this conference is to raise awareness around elder abuse issues specifically regarding sexual and domestic violence. The goal is to increase the competence of healthcare professionals and service providers working with elders. For more information and to register, go to http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1523422/April-16-2014-SAAM-Conference-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, 9:00 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 am – 6 pm
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 29.00 per person or for groups of 3 or more 59.00 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 Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month is a specific time targeted to focus on the issues of sexual assault and abuse, but every day provides a new opportunity for communities to stop sexual assault and abuse. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, confidential help and information are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 2-1-1 or 1-800-684.2324 (Delaware: 740.369.3316 or Morrow: 419.947.2520).
Morrow County SART Team Members Share why they serve sexual assault survivors.
Delaware County Team Members Share why they serve sexual assault survivors.
HOW YOU CAN HELP STOP CHILD ABUSE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT
- Learn as much as we can about these issues. By seeking out information and sharing it with those in our lives, we’re already creating change.
- 2. Speak up whenever it is safe to do so. Make it your business. If you’re witness to something that is hurtful or unsafe, you are involved.
- Along these lines, to prevent child sexual abuse, restrict situations where a child will be alone with an adult. Most children experience this kind of abuse by someone that they know in places where no one else is around.
- While it’s our responsibility to protect them, we further increase children’s safety when we teach them about their bodies and encourage them to set limits. For example, they don’t have to give grandma a kiss. Don’t get me wrong – grandma may really want a kiss – and you might like them to give grandma a kiss. But if you give them the right to not give someone as wonderful as grandma a hug or a kiss, then that reinforces their right to speak up to about what happens to their bodies – and that they have conversations like this with you.
- We need to put more in place to promote the safety of youth and teens. We know that children can experience bullying, abuse, sexual violence by their peers. We need to teach them how to intervene if they see their peers behaving badly and how to have healthy relationships. We need to promote the rights of all teens to be treated well and stand up for and with them when they are not.
- Before someone becomes sexually active, help us spread the word that consent has to be asked for and freely given when both parties are sober, before sex occurs. If someone’s judgment is impaired, wait until it isn’t before initiating sex or even asking about it.
- Help us promote the idea that we need to focus on the behaviors of the perpetrators and stop judging victims/survivors. People always want to give potential victims tips about how not to be victims. However, we’re only going to stop sexual assault if we stop sexual assault perpetrators. The next time you hear someone judging a victim/survivor, see if you can change the focus by asking “I wonder why that perpetrator thought it was okay to do that?”
- Support people who’ve experienced child abuse and sexual assault. If you don’t know what to say, try telling them you’re sorry that they’ve experienced it. You can also encourage them to call HelpLine’s hotline dial 2-1-1 or 1.800.684.2324 (Delaware: 740.369.3316 or Morrow: 419.947.2520) or access our SARN services for more support or information.