April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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BLUE RIDGE, Ga – Fannin County Commissioners signed a proclamation declaring April 2021 Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network (NGMCN) employees accepted the proclamation and Executive Director Kim O’Neal thanked the commissioners for their support.

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without consent. In today’s world, it isn’t limited to in-person harassment, abuse, or assault. Online spaces can present victims with harmful content or behaviors too.

“As technology has evolved to become a part of our everyday lives, our awareness of how it can be used to bully, threaten and commit abuse has grown as well,” said Yolanda Edrington, Executive Director of NSVRC. “The ‘We Can Build’ campaign promotes how you can practice consent and support survivors online. New platforms will continue to emerge as technology expands, and by leading with these foundational principles, we can build safe online spaces now and into the future.”

NSVRC encourages individuals and communities to commemorate SAAM and show support for survivors of sexual harassment and abuse by wearing teal — the color of sexual violence prevention — on April 6th and posting a selfie to Twitter or Instagram using #SAAM2021. Wearing teal signals that you support survivors and are a safe person to talk to if they need to reach out.

In Georgia, one in three women and nearly one in four men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact. One in five women have endured rape or attempted rape; one in 38 men have experienced the same brutality.

According to NGMCN, in 2015 the Appalachian Judicial Circuit responded to 51 reports of sexual assault.

NGMCN’s mission is “to provide safe shelter and support services for all survivors of domestic violence, their children, and survivors of sexual assault; promote community awareness and education to help prevent and break the cycle of violence; provide an environment of encouragement, compassion, and support for all survivors.”

2021 marks the twentieth year of Sexual Assault Awareness month, and NSVRC hopes by continuing to raise awareness, one day we can stop sexual assault before it happens.

If you’ve been sexually assaulted, please go to a safe place either with a parent, family member, or friend. You can also call the local rape crisis center or NGMCN at 1-800-334-2836.

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