Governor Haley proclaims April as South Carolina Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Governor Nikki R. Haley has declared April as South Carolina’s Sexual Assault Awareness month. Nationally, April has been recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month since 2001. Governor Haley’s Sexual Assault Awareness proclamation focuses awareness on sexual violence, advocating for everyone in South Carolina to learn more about what designates sexual violence, prevention methods and how to help survivors heal from these crimes of personal violation. Sexual assault crimes in South Carolina affect not only the assault victims, but also their family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Increased awareness of sexual assaults will help break the silent anguish victims often face and provide the crucial resources and aid they need as they work towards overcoming the abuse they have experienced.

Sara Barber, executive director of South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA) speaks to the importance of April’s events:

“Sexual Assault Awareness Month provides an opportunity for South Carolina to work towards building communities that do not tolerate sexual abuse,” said Barber. “When we start by believing survivors we can make a difference every day in their healing process and make it more difficult for these crimes and their perpetrators to continue to hide in plain sight.”

In 2014, SCCADVASA’s 15 sexual assault member organizations across South Carolina served 5,513 primary survivors and 1,950 secondary survivors of sexual abuse. The organization’s service centers also responded to 3,820 survivors via their hotlines, and ensured supportive response to 1,274 hospital calls.

Of equal importance, these service centers provided prevention training to more than 65,000 K-12 students across the state.

Local advocates for victims of sexual assault:

Pee Dee Coalition If you need immediate help, call 911. The 24-Hour Crisis Line is: Toll Free 1-800-273-1820; Florence: 669-4600.

Darlington County contacts: Darlington County Satellite, Hartsville: 383-0240; Durant Children’s Center, Hartsville: 332-9299; and R.O.A.R., Darlington: 395-2748.

The South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA) is a statewide coalition made up of the 23 domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy programs in South Carolina.

Author: Duane Childers

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