Sexual Assault Awareness Month: ‘Talk about it! Tell about it! STOP IT!’

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: ‘Talk about it! Tell about it! STOP IT!’


Across the country, communities are declaring April to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling has selected the theme, “Sexual Assault: Talk about it! Tell about it! STOP IT!” in order to create an awareness of sexual violence and emphasize a commitment to this important cause while recognizing the effort of those individuals who work to end sexual violence.

This theme was chosen to encourage community members to talk about the issue with friends and family and to take action to stop this horrific crime. Sexual assault has long been held a secret. Talking about it and telling about it will help in the crusade to stop it.

A United Way Agency founded in 1977, RSAC has consistently provided a wide range of specific services for survivors of sexual trauma. Those include 24-hour crisis intervention, medical and legal advocacy, clinical services, prevention education programs and professional training. Its main office is in Rockford’s in the new YWCA building at the entrance to Rockford College campus. Satellite offices are in both Boone and Winnebago counties.

“Talking about and telling about sexual assault makes us more aware of this violent crime. That’s what will help stop it,” says Maureen Mostacci, executive director of the counseling center.

Events planned throughout the tri-county area served by the counseling center include the following:

l April 10, 12 and 17, YWCA, “Medical Advocate Volunteer Training Sessions” provided by Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling, 6-9 p.m. with a final session April 24, bringing to 34 the total number of volunteers who work 12- or 24-hour shifts 365 days a year.

l April 11, 18 and 25, North Boone High School Pilot Program, “Hall Talks” sponsored by Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling in conjunction with North Boone High School.

l April 9, VFW Hall, “The Clothesline Project” sponsored by Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling, 6-9 p.m.

l April 9, YWCA, “What’s at Stake for Women in 2003,” legislative issues of concern to women sponsored by a variety of women’s organizations, 6-9 p.m.

l April 15, 22 and 29, Rochelle Township High School Pilot Program, “Hall Talks,” sponsored by Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling, Inc., in conjunction with Rochelle Township High School, 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

l April 1-30, Insight Communications, Public Service Announcement about Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling services.

Completed events included an April 1 presentation, “Sexual Harassment: It’s a Federal Offense” with Penny Lechtenberg, attorney at law with Hinshaw & Culbertson and an April 2 program on “Elder Abuse,” sponsored by the Belvidere Police Department Police Academy.

Information: 636-9811.

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