Communities Unite to End Sexual Violence

By Mindy Miller - For The Hazard Herald

HAZARD — In honor of Kentucky’s annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), members of the Kentucky River area community are joining together to raise awareness about sexual violence.

During the month of April, SAAM organizers invite all local community members to participate in taking a stand against sexual violence.

“Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a specific time we target in order to focus on the issues of sexual assault, but every day provides a new opportunity for communities to stop sexual violence,” said Susan Walls, volunteer coordinator at Kentucky River Community Care, Inc.’s (KRCC) The Rising Center.

The awareness month’s events include:

April 1 – Why We Wear Teal Day

In 2000, sexual violence coalitions across the country voted to designate the color teal as the official color of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the teal ribbon was adopted as a symbol of awareness and prevention. You can participate by:

* Wearing a teal-colored outfit and accessories

* Picking up a teal ribbon at The Rising Center to support the eradication of sexual violence

* Telling people why you are wearing teal and asking them to join anti-violence efforts

* Posting about Sexual Assault Awareness Month on social media

April 4 – Open House at The Rising Center

KRCC and The Rising Center invite you to attend a special open house at 637 Morton Blvd. in Hazard on April 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Rising Center will be providing information about counseling services for victims of sexual assault and its growing volunteer program. There will also be a tour of the facility, a display of the Clothesline Project, and refreshments.

April 18 – Chalk the Walk

Join us on April 18 as The Rising Center invites you to Chalk the Walk for sexual assault awareness and prevention! Gather a group of friends or neighbors and write messages of hope and healing with sidewalk chalk. Take photographs of your work and post it on social media to spread the message, using the hashtag #KASAP (Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs).

April 22 – Earth Day Memorial Service

The Rising Center will be hosting a memorial service and tree planting for survivors of sexual assault. Please watch our Facebook page for more information about the location and time at

April 27 – Denim Day

Today, all around the world, organizations coordinate community-wide Denim Days to show support of survivors and raise awareness about the crimes of sexual assault. There are several ways for you to get involved this year:

* Wear denim on Wednesday, April 27.

* Encourage your workplace, professional affiliates, family, friends, or church groups to wear jeans on Denim Day.

* Host a “Dollars for Denim” event at your community, school, or workplace to benefit your local rape crisis center.

Month-Long Ongoing Projects

Paint Perry Teal Contest

KRCC and The Rising Center are asking individuals and businesses to Paint Perry Teal and post pictures on social media to raise awareness. Be sure to tag us in your photos! There will be a prize given to the winner. We will also be posting pictures to The Rising Center Facebook page.

Marquee Signs

The Rising Center will be asking all local businesses with marquee signs to change the display to reflect Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Online Men’s Pledge

During the month of April, we will be asking all men to Break the Silence & Take the Pledge to end sexual assault and domestic violence. You can go directly to our website at to sign the pledge.

Training Event

April 29 – Trauma and Sexual Assault Training

All service providers in the area will be welcome to attend an 8-hour training in an effort to raise awareness, provide them with tools to identify high-risk clients, and much more. Refreshments will also be provided.

For more information, please visit our Facebook page or contact The Rising Center at 606-435-0849. The Rising Center is a community sexual assault program that provides medical and legal advocacy, crisis counseling, long-term trauma therapy, and many more services.

By Mindy Miller

For The Hazard Herald

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