Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) stems from the early 1970s when survivors of sexual violence came together and began to speak out against the atrocities they suffered. They held rallies and public speak-outs, and as a result created a movement to end sexual violence. The goal of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. This year’s SAAM theme is “We Can Build Safe Online Spaces.”
April was first proclaimed as Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAPM) nationally in 1983. Ever since then, state chapters of Prevent Child Abuse America, as well as other child welfare advocates have also commemorated April as Child Abuse Prevention Month at both the state and local level.
We know that one month alone isn’t enough to solve the serious and widespread issue of sexual violence and child abuse. However, the attention April generates is an opportunity to energize and expand prevention efforts throughout the year. It’s a time to celebrate the good things our community does, to raise awareness about these issues, and to let people in our community know about available services. This Tool Kit is intended for individuals and organizations looking to raise visibility about SAAM and CAPM in Centre County this April.
Children and Youth Services, Children’s Advocacy Center, Youth Service Bureau, the YMCA of Centre County, and Centre Safe are working together to support survivors of child abuse and sexual violence-but we can’t do it alone.
Tuesday, April 5 | 12:00pm | Centre County
Join us April 5th at Noon as we come together as a community to honor and support survivors and recognize those in our community who have made a difference on the Centre County Courthouse Lawn.
Saturday, April 30 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm | YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day
Families are encouraged to attend the State College YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, April 30th from 1pm-4pm to participate in these various activities. The community is encouraged to join the movement. Be respectful, remember the mission, have fun, and be kind.
We are asking clients, children, and staff involved with these agencies to paint Kindness ROCKS and CHALK THE WALK. Here’s how you can help make a difference.
Kindness Rocks is a viral trend where people paint rocks with inspirational messages or sayings. Then they leave them in public places for people to find. The intention is to spread kindness and support to survivors in our community.
Throughout the month of April, we will be decorating and hiding rocks around Centre County to raise awareness for Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month.
If you find a Kindness Rock, it was meant for you. Take a photo and post it on social media using the hashtag #CentreCountyCares. You can keep it or put it in another safe place for someone else to find. Help us spread the kindness and the message about how our community supports survivors.
According to Megan Murphy, the founder of the Kindness Rocks Project, “If one person finds a rock with a message that speaks to them during a difficult time, OUR efforts have made a difference.” Photos of the painted rocks and hints of where to find them will be shared on Facebook.
CHALK THE WALK
Chalk the Walk is another way to raise awareness about child abuse and sexual violence and spread joy, optimism and inspiration through the magical power of sidewalk chalk.
Chalk the Walk messages will be chalked in front of each participating organization.
When you are participating in Chalk the Walk please keep in mind to:
- Be respectful-consider those who will see your chalked walks.
- Remember the mission – our goal is to let survivors of child abuse and sexual violence know that WE ARE HERE FOR THEM. Let’s keep the message strong and consistent!
- Have fun, share your chalk using the hashtag #CentreCountyCares, and be kind.
Prevention is Possible
TOGETHER we can STOP abuse before it happens
Let’s Be the Change
Throw Kindness Around like Glitter
Every Child Safe
Believe in YOURSELF
Every Person Safe
Your Body is YOUR OWN
Protect our Kids
Protect our Children
Not ONE more
Stand up for Kids
Protection is Possible
Stand up for Children
Every Child Matters
Prevention is Key
STOP the abuse
YOU can make a difference
Break the Silence
Hands are for Holding, not Hurting
STOP Child Abuse
Be a Child’s Sunshine
WE BELIEVE SURVIVORS
I BELIEVE YOU
I ASK .
Everyone deserves to be safe
To Connect with 24 Hour Hotline Services
To access the Youth Service Bureau’s emergency shelter call 814-234-2100
To Learn More About Recognizing Child Abuse
Become a mandated reporter by taking one of the following trainings
To learn how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse attend an upcoming Stewards of Children Training: https://www.ymcaofcentrecounty.org/programs/social-responsibility/stewards-of-children/
In-Person Training: Wednesday, April 6 | 12:00-2:00pm | YSB Main Office (325 W Aaron Drive, State College 16801)
Zoom Training: Thursday, April 21