By Ashley Wilson | Rise Above Violence
Teal is the color of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. You will see teal ribbons lining main street this month as a symbol of the efforts to prevent and educate the community about this important issues.
Join with Rise Above Violence in offering a collective voice that says sexual assault is not acceptable in our community. If you are looking for ways to support, join us in the following.
Wear teal to show support all month long, and come out on Wednesday, April 26, at noon for the Denim Day Walk at the bell tower, located at the intersection of Lewis Street and U.S. 160. Denim Day is an outward show of support for victims in our community. It is a worldwide awareness event you can learn more at https://nationaltoday.com/denim-day/.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month is intended to draw attention the fact that sexual violence is widespread and has public health implications for every community member of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County.
Here are some statistics:
• 1 in 3 women and 1in 6 men will experience sexual violence in their lifetime.
• 1 in 3 teens will experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend this year.
• American Indian women are two times more likely to experience sexual violence compared to all races.
• Rise Above Violence served 42 victims of sexual assault last year, but we know there are many more who do not come forward.
How do we make a difference? Educating our community and our youth is the first step. Teaching respectful boundaries and asking for consent start a conversation with both youth and adults to address the prevalence of unwanted advances. It starts by not being silent or expecting victims to be silent for our own comfort. Speaking for and standing with victims in our community to be able to share their story and hold the abuser accountable, not just in the legal system, but in the social system as well.
Are you interested in learning more? Rise Above Violence would love to provide you with information, and we are always looking for volunteers. We have many volunteer opportunities from special event help to being a volunteer crisis advocate. Call (970) 261-1129 for more information.
Rise Above Violence is a nonprofit organization which promotes the belief that all people have the right to live free from violence. Rise provides 24-hour support and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or other forms of violence, serving more than 350 victims each year.
Rise also works to eliminate violence through education for youth and our community. All programs and services are free and confidential including emergency prevention education and empowerment programs. Visit www.riseaboveviolence.org for more information or call (970) 264- 9075 to talk to an advocate today.