• 50°

Inner Banks Hotline kicks off Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Inner Banks Hotline in Columbia has joined with other agencies across the nation in observing Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) throughout April with the theme “Embrace Your Voice.”

This year’s campaign encourages individuals to speak up and use their voice to promote safety, respect and equality toward ending sexual violence.

“All of our voices have power. It’s time for everyone to find that voice and embrace it,” said Karen Baker, Chief Executive Officer at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC). “This April, we reflect on the survivors, silence breakers and supporters who have spoken out during this consequential year, and we invite all voices to join us as we work toward changing the culture across all communities and ending sexual violence once and for all.”

The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence, educate communities on how to prevent it and bolster prevention efforts throughout the year.

In addition to publishing toolkits for individuals and organizations to plan and implement a SAAM campaign in their local communities, NSVRC recently published several new resources, including tip sheets on: Workplace Sexual Harassment and Bystander Intervention Tips & Strategies.

“We know that one month isn’t enough to solve the serious and widespread issue of sexual violence, but Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a reminder that we can change the culture through the things we say and do each day,” said Laura Palumbo, Communications Director at NSVRC. “It can be as simple as calling out comments that blame victims for being assaulted or make light of sexual violence. Showing your support for survivors by wearing teal throughout April is also one way you can embrace your voice for change.”

Since 2001, NSVRC has coordinated the national Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign observed every April. Join the campaign by accessing free resources at nsvrc.org/saam. Resources are available in Spanish at nsvrc.org/es/saam.

Inner Banks Hotlines 24-hour Crisis Line number is 1-877-429-5526.

Inner Banks Hotline staff members are: Janie Spencer, Executive Director; Jasmine Spruill, Client Advocate; Angela Roughton, Community Advocate; Gloria Owens, Thrift Store Manager; and Courtney Spencer, Faith/Hispanic Outreach Advocate.

Inner Banks Hotline offices and thrift store are at 507 US Hwy. 64 East (beside Family Dollar) in Columbia; telephone 252-796-5526.

Thrift store hours are Monday–Friday 10 AM to 5 PM. Donations are accepted in the back in the open carport.