For the City Times
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The Wisconsin Rapids Family Center will be hosting activities during the month to bring awareness to the issue of sexual assault. The Center provides safe shelter and services for victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault in Wisconsin Rapids. There is no charge for any of the services provided.
According to information provided by the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department, there were eight reports of rape, 16 reports of first-degree sexual assault, 17 reports of second-degree sexual assault, 10 reports of third-degree sexual assault, and 10 reports of fourth-degree sexual assault in 2015. Additionally, there were eight reports of lewd and lascivious behavior/indecent exposure, one count of child pornography, and 11 other sex-related offenses.
The Family Center has staff dedicated to working with clients affected by sexual assault/abuse, who also work within the community to promote positive relationships. These advocates are available for presentations to community groups, churches, schools and any other organization interested in learning more about The Family Center or specific services.
An information table will be at McMillan Memorial Library, 490 E. Grand Ave., Wisconsin Rapids, beginning April 6. Information about The Family Center’s services, all which are available at no cost to victims and survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault, will be available. Advocates from The Family Center also will be available at different times to answer questions from the public.
Information also will be available at the Lester Public Library of Vesper, 6550 Virginia St., Vesper; and the Charles and JoAnn Lester Public Library, 100 Park St., Nekoosa.
A ‘yarn-bombing’ event also will be held, geared to draw attention to the month. Trees outside The Family Center, located at 500 25th St. N., will be wrapped in different mediums, including yarn, in different shades of teal, the designated awareness color for sexual assault.
The Family Center is seeking donations of teal-colored material and also businesses or organizations willing to host a tree to be wrapped.
Call The Family Center business line at 715-421-1559 for more information about the April events or to donate materials.
About Sexual Assault Awareness Month
In the United States April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) occurs annually in April to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it. Celebrating its 15th anniversary with the theme “Prevention is possible,” this campaign promotes actions that individuals, communities and the private sector can take to promote safety, respect and equality to stop sexual assault before it happens.
Sexual assault can be defined as any type of unwanted sexual contact, ranging from sexist attitudes and actions to rape and murder. Sexual assault can include words and actions of a sexual nature against a person’s will.
Sexual violence is a major public health, human rights and social justice issue, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center website. Since 2001, the NSVRC supports SAAM organizers with resources, tools and training.
About The Family Center
Founded in 1984, The Family Center, 500 25th St. N., provides a 24-hour secure shelter for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault, as well as outreach programs for children, teens, Hmong, senior and vulnerable adult services, and visitation services. Follow Wisconsin Rapids Family Center on Facebook, @familyctr on Twitter, and at www.familyctr.org. The Family Center provides all services free of charge.
Contact Deb Cleworth, community outreach/fund development manager, at 715-421-1559 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.