Sexual Assault Response Team seeking to raise public awareness

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Story at glance:

• April designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

• Last year, the local Sexual Assault Response Team responded to 249 primary and secondary sexual assault victims.

• That translated to a 62-percent increase from 2009.

• The response team is asking the public to show support by picking up a ribbon April 23 during the Children’s Fair at Centennial Mall.

For more information on how to report a sexual assault, call the Advocates-Crisis Support Services hotline at 824-2400. Advocates can be reached at 824-9709.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the local Sexual Assault Response Team is conducting a campaign to shed light on the issue.

“Each day, each of us witness a continuum of behaviors that range from being respectful and safe to sexually abusive and violent,” the team reported in a news release. “This year’s (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) campaign, ‘It’s time to get involved,’ explores common, everyday behaviors and offers individuals viable, responsible ways to intervene.”

Sexual assault is a problem in Moffat County, according to the release. In 2010, the response team responded to 249 primary and secondary sexual assault victims, a 62-percent increase from 2009. So far this year, there have been 22 primary and secondary sexual assault victims in Moffat County.

“Sexual violence affects people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds,” the team stated in the news release. “Nearly 20 percent of the population has experienced some form of sexual assault in their lifetime, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Justice. By advocating widespread change, this year’s campaign not only focuses on individuals, but also environments, including systems and norms that contribute to sexual violence and oppression.”

The awareness campaign “aims to engage everyone in sexual assault prevention and establish environments where people are safe and respected in their relationships, families, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces and communities.”

The response team is asking the public to demonstrate support for Sexual Assault Awareness Month by picking up a teal-colored ribbon from a team member during the Children’s Fair scheduled for April 23 at Centennial Mall, 1111 W. Victory Way.

For more information on how to report a sexual assault, call the Advocates-Crisis Support Services hotline at 824-2400. Advocates can be reached at 824-9709.

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