By Tracey McConnell
Community Development Director
Verde Valley Sanctuary
Verde Valley News – In the month of April, Verde Valley Sanctuary (VVS) recognizes National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). We take this moment to reflect on the strength and resilience of survivors and victims, the perseverance of advocates, and the dedication of the professionals in many fields who support those who experience sexual violence. The term “sexual violence” is an umbrella term that includes all the following: Rape; Molestation; Unwanted sexual contact of any other form; Sexual harassment; Incest; Child sexual abuse; Sexual assault, even with an intimate partner; Sexual exploitation; Human trafficking; Voyeurism.
Sexual violence causes life-changing trauma for far too many of our neighbors, colleagues, family, and friends. The CDC has found that about 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men suffer sexual violence at some point in their lives. And while you may not have personally been the victim of sexual violence, it is likely that you do know someone who is, even if they have not shared that information publicly. This trauma can be compounded by institutions and cultural perceptions that blame survivors for their victimization, rather than those that perpetrate the violence. Survivors deserve to be met wherever they are at in their journey for healing, accountability, and justice.
VVS will be offering Meet & Greet Workshops at three local libraries called “Heightening Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” where VVS staff will facilitate a learning opportunity to better understand sexual violence and how to support yourself and others.
- April 13 from 4:15 to 5:45 pm at Cottonwood Public Library, 100 S 6th St, Cottonwood.
- April 19 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at Camp Verde Community Library, 130 Black Bridge Loop Rd, Camp Verde.
- April 27 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm at Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Rd, Sedona.
If you have experienced sexual violence at any point in your life, or know someone who has, you are not alone. There is support and safety waiting for you, and you can reach Verde Valley Sanctuary’s Crisis Helpline at (928) 634-2511. You can remain anonymous when you call.
For more information about the workshops, contact Community Based Advocacy Director, Vivien Mann at (928) 641-6916 or email@example.com.
For more information about Verde Valley Sanctuary or to make a donation, contact Community Development Director Tracey McConnell at (928) 282-2755, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website https://verdevalleysanctuary.org.