Abuse Prevention Council’s ‘100 For 100’ Honors Sexual Assault Awareness Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (PHOTOS ATTACHED)

SHELBY, N.C. (April 4, 2011) – ABUSE PREVENTION COUNCIL’S ‘100 FOR 100’ HONORS SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH

Communities Called to Action to Prevent Sexual Violence in Cleveland County

SHELBY, N.C. – The Cleveland County Abuse Prevention Council (APC) installed a silent tribute to Cleveland County’s victims of sexual violence on the Courthouse Square today. 100 white flags bearing teal awareness ribbons each represent a sexual assault crisis call received by the agency in 2010.

“Cleveland County is not immune to incidents of sexual violence,” said Cathy Robertson, APC Executive Director. “We honor National Sexual Assault Awareness Month by giving a voice to these 100, and the hundreds more we know haven’t reached out for help.”

Throughout the month of April, APC will honor this year’s theme, “It’s Time…To Get Involved,” by sponsoring awareness events aimed at encouraging bystanders to intervene when witnessing behavior that may lead to sexual violence. This includes preventing inappropriate sexual comments, coercive behavior, and sexual harassment.

“Most of society bears witness to sexual violence, and a lot of it begins with behaviors that are regrettfully considered ‘harmless,’ such as aggressive advances, sexual innuendos, and harrasment,” said Robertson. “We encourage bystanders to intervene before this behavior escalates to a crisis situation, when ‘should haves’ and ‘could haves’ mean little to a victim of rape or sexual assault.”

In addition to the flag display, APC launched a photo campaign to get community members involved in National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In response to the theme, “It’s Time…To Get Involved,” APC is asking individuals, businesses, and other organizations to take a picture of themselves holding a clock and use the photo as their Facebook profile picture throughout April. Photos tagging APC will be featured on the agency’s Facebook page. To encourage participation, the agency will sponosor photo booths where individuals can have their picture taken with a clock.

Other activities include collaboration with local law enforcement to add sexual assault awareness magnets to patrol vehicles, and a benefit car show hosted by the Broad River Eurpean Motor Club.

APC launched it’s observance of National Sexual Awareness Month early with last month’s display of a mural in Uptown Shelby highlighting the agency’s crisis line information.

What:      “It’s Time…To Get Involved” Information and Photo Booths

When:      Tuesday, April 12, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
                      Cleveland Community College (outside Bookstore)

                      Wednesday, April 13, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
                      Cleveland Community College (outside Bookstore)

                      Saturday, April 16, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
                      Cleveland County Mall (near Chick-Fil-A)

                      Saturday, April 30, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
                      Broad River Eurpean Motor Car Classic (Uptown Shelby)

 Cost:         FREE

APC is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving survivors of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, homelessness, and homemaker displacement, through safe shelter, advocacy, support services, and preventive education. APC also operates a 24-hour crisis line dedicated to responding to survivors of domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault. Individuals in crisis are encouraged to call 704-481-0043 for immediate assistance.

A silent tribute, 100 flags represent the 100 sexual assault crisis calls received by APC in 2010, and honor April as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The flags are on display on the Courthouse Square in Shelby.

APC staff participate in the "It's Time...To Get Involved" photo campaign, encouraging bystanders to prevent sexual violence in Cleveland County.

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