Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), aimed at raising community awareness about sexual violence prevention, public education about how to support survivors, and sharing available resources.
- In the United States, an individual is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds.
- 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men in the United States has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.
- Rape and sexual assault affect women, children, and men of all racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds, while ages 12-34 are the highest risk years.
- 8 out of 10 (80%) sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows.
- Emotional and physical trauma resulting from sexual violence is often severe and long-lasting; victims may experience such adverse consequences as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, major depression, homelessness, eating disorders, and suicide.
- Sexual assault may coincide with an intimate partner relationship. In fact, 33% of the time, rape is committed by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. While eight out of ten sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim, an acquaintance (39%), or non-spouse relative (2.5%), the majority of these crimes are NOT related to domestic violence.
OneEighty Can Help
For survivors that aren’t sure where to go for assistance immediately following an assault or even months or years later, OneEighty can help. Victim advocates are social workers that specialize in supporting victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. They also facilitate a support group called Empower for survivors of intimate partner violence the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month from 1-2pm and 6-7pm in the Community Room at OneEighty’s Main Office: 104 Spink Street in Wooster. For those community members seeking professional mental health services, OneEighty also offers counseling services by a staff of licensed clinical therapists. The agency accepts most insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, and offers a sliding fee schedule for Wayne County residents.
OneEighty is the Rape Crisis Center for Wayne and Holmes Counties. Trained staff and volunteers are available 24/7 to provide an immediate response to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. OneEighty’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline is staffed 24/7 at 800-686-1122. Our specially trained volunteer hospital advocates work closely with both Wooster Community Hospital and Aultman Orrville Hospital to support sexual assault survivors that present to either emergency department for a forensic exam. We provide a host of resources and offer free victim advocacy.
OneEighty is dedicated to the prevention of sexual violence through its education, community outreach, and victim advocacy efforts. The agency’s trained staff offers comprehensive and compassionate services for survivors.
Additionally, the Community Relations and Prevention Department conducts numerous presentations in the community, upon request. The staff works with volunteer groups, churches, public and private schools, colleges, community groups, social service organizations, law enforcement, and businesses with the goal of spreading the word about the breadth of services the agency offers, the importance of sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, and stalking prevention, and to dispel myths and share current information. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation, please contact Gayle Byrne at firstname.lastname@example.org
SAAM In the Community
There are SAAM displays with book lists in each of the Wayne County Public Library branches and the book list is also available on the WCPL website: https://www.wcpl.info/content/april-sexual-assault-awareness-month. There is a hybrid book club discussion of Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller on Thursday, April 28th at 7:00pm at the Wayne County Public Library – Wooster Branch. Please pre-register at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUodOmpqjooG9Z8aCTgLMwriXAcGhqiSxwu The flyer can also be found on the above-listed link. The Wooster Branch of the WCPL is also hosting The Clothesline Project art display through the month of April, which is a national project to lift the voices of survivors.
There is a display in the reception area at OneEighty (104 Spink Street). Stop by and pick up a magnet, bookmark, adult coloring pages, teal ribbon stickers, and the 2002 SAAM Activities Calendar.
How Can I Help?
You may wonder what you can do individually to impact the effort to prevent sexual violence and to support survivors. You can do a lot: Lift your voice by speaking up when you hear victim-blaming. Shut down rape jokes. Correct harmful misconceptions. Promote everyday consent. And practice healthy communication with children.
If you have questions regarding how to seek support such as medical attention or emergency shelter, please call OneEighty’s 24-hour Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-686-1122 or the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-4673 (NNEDV ). OneEighty’s main office phone number is 330-264-8498 to schedule an appointment with a victim advocate or mental health counselor.