The month of April has been proclaimed Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Altus. Mayor David Webb signed the proclamation with representatives of ACMI House on Thursday, March 27, urging all citizens to join anti-sexual violence advocates and support service programs in the belief that all community members must be part of the solution to end sexual violence.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month is intended to draw attention to the fact that sexual violence is widespread and has public health implications for every community member of Altus Oklahoma. Rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment impact our community as seen by statistics indicating that one in five women will have experienced sexual assault by the time they complete college. We must work together to educate our community about what can be done to prevent sexual assault and how to support survivors.
Staff and volunteers of anti-violence programs at ACMI House encourage every person top speak out when witnessing acts of violence however small. With leadership, dedication and encouragement, there is compelling evidence that we can be successful in reducing sexual violence in Altus, through prevention education, increased awareness, and holding perpetrators who commit acts of violence responsible for their actions.
The City of Altus strongly supports the efforts of national, state, and local partners, and of every citizen to actively engage in public and private efforts, including conversations about what sexual violence is, how to prevent it, how to help survivors connect with services, and how every segment of our society can work together to better address sexual violence.
Southwest Oklahoma Community Action Group, Inc.’s, ACMI House invites every community member to join the nation-wide efforts to increase awareness about the crimes of sexual violence that continue to affect our communities.
“Everyone has a reason to be aware and everyone can play a role in preventing sexual violence,” states Holly Grace, ACMI House Program Director. “You can play a role in changing the underlying norms and culture that allows sexual violence. Traditional gender roles, power imbalances, and victim blaming all contribute to sexual violence.”
The Jackson County and Altus community can participate in one or more of the following ACMI House sponsored sexual assault awareness events during the month of April:
* Visit Confectionately Yours located at 106 W. Cypress in Altus and purchase your “Red Shoe.” The “Red Shoe” is a refreshing fresh cherry puree with a hint of amaretto syrup…to energize and invigorate you with antioxidants and electrolytes. Confectionately Yours donates $1 from your purchase of the “Red Shoe,” to the ACMI House sexual assault services program.
* Visit Altus Public Library between April 1st and April 30th to view the ACMI House “Sole Survivor” Display. The Display was designed to represent and support the 58 survivors of Sexual Assault that ACMI House provided services to in 2013.
* Participate in ACMI House’s 5th Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® Event. This event is a nation-wide march against sexual violence. The event will be held on April 12. Registration begins at 10 am at the Jackson County Courthouse. Participants will walk down Broadway Street to the Altus City Park. Once at the Altus City Park, there will be a live band, children’s activities, information booths, guest speakers, door prizes and food.
* Purchase this year’s, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® t-shirt and proudly support victims of sexual violence every time you wear it! ACMI House is now taking t-shirt orders.
For more information about ACMI House sexual assault awareness events and ACMI House victim services, please call 580-482-3800.