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Survivors. Allies. Healthy sexuality. Changing the future. This year’s campaign theme for Sexual Assault Awareness Month focuses on using one’s voice to promote a healthier world free from sexual violence. This is especially important for our young people being able to recognize and distinguish the line between healthy and unhealthy relationships and behaviors early on.
The first step in accomplishing that is raising awareness. In building a safer place in society, it is imperative that individuals and the community take a collaborative stand together. Collectively, each person can take small actions to result in a big change. We are pleased to announce that we are once again collaborating with University of Wisconsin-Stout on several exciting projects and event within the month of April in Menomonie. This is a chance for people to break the silence and take a stand against sexual assault.
A new and exciting one is the Consent Is Project. Consent is something that is given, not taken. Someone who is not willing, drunk, drugged or unconscious is unable to give consent. This project is a photo collage of several community members that have put themselves out there to say what consent looks like or means to them. This along with The Clothesline Project, a collection of t-shirts that survivors have created, will move around the city at various locations. Seek them out to read the empowering messages and testimonials survivors have to say.
The next one is the annual Take Back The Night event at the Raw Deal on Friday, April 25th from 7-9:30pm. This is where allies and survivors can come together to speak and teach each other about the reasons why we must take a stand against sexual assault. There will be speakers and a candlelight vigil to end the night. Lastly, the Waterfront Bar and Grill will be hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, April 26th. There will be a cool band playing and all proceeds from the cover charges will go to The Bridge to Hope to support their services for sexual assault survivors.
Together, we can make a difference and change the stereotypes and hurtful attitudes surrounding sexual violence. Take a stand with us in the month of April to let survivors know that we can be their allies and say, “It’s time to talk about it.”