Work together to end sexual assault now

By VALENCIA ALBRIGHT / Guest Columnist

April is national Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The 2014 Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign focuses on healthy sexuality and young people following recent media reports showing a steady increase of violence on college campuses.

The University of Montevallo Counseling Department and SafeHouse saw this as an opportunity to partner together to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. Statistics underestimate the problem because many victims do not tell the police, family or friends about the violence. Sexual violence is any sexual activity where consent is not freely given.

On April 01, 2014 the NO.MORE campaign kicked off on the campus of The University of Montevallo. NO MORE calls on all of us together to end the silence and speak out against the violence experienced by people of all genders, races and ethnicities, and age groups. Students participated in the singing pledges The next time you’re in a room with six people, think about this:

a.)  1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes.

b.)  1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend in one year.

These are not numbers. They’re our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, co-workers and friends.

 

Valencia Albright is the community outreach and volunteer coordinator for SafeHouse of Shelby County.