Commentary: April is both Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAPM) is a time to highlight the importance of individuals and communities working together to prevent child abuse. Our goal is to increase awareness about child abuse and neglect and to decrease it from occurring. During 2021 in the San Luis Valley alone, there were 1172 child abuse reports made to the Colorado Department of Human Services.
In honor of CAPM, the Children’s Advocacy Center of the San Luis Valley would like to invite you to wear a blue ribbon throughout the month and to participate in “Wear Blue Day'' on April 1. The blue-ribbon trend began after a grandmother used it to honor her grandson who was killed while being abused. The blue ribbon is a symbol of hope that one day no child will suffer from abuse and gives you the opportunity to tell others that you support child abuse prevention. By wearing blue on Friday, April 1, you will join communities across Colorado in taking a stand. If you need a blue ribbon to wear, contact Tu Casa, Inc. at 719-589-2465.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is a campaign to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate the community about how to prevent sexual violence. This year marks the 21st anniversary of SAAM, however, efforts to end sexual violence began decades before with advocates like Rosa Parks and led to events in the late 1970’s like the first Take Back the Night event, which was held in San Francisco. The Take Back the Night event protested rape and sexual assault that women encountered while walking the streets at night. This event caused a movement across the U.S. which helped form SAAM.
Tu Casa, Inc. would like to invite you to help raise awareness about sexual assault throughout the month of April by wearing a teal ribbon and participating in “Wear Teal Day” which is observed on Tuesday, April 5. By wearing teal, you will be taking a stand against sexual violence with others across the U.S. and showing your support for efforts to end sexual violence. If you are interested in wearing a teal ribbon but do not have one, contact Tu Casa, Inc. at 719-589-2465.
Throughout the month of April, Advocates from Tu Casa, Inc. will be hosting a Clothesline Project. The Clothesline Project began in 1990 as an effort to educate people about violence against women and to break the silence. It was developed after this striking comparison was made by the Men’s Rape Prevention Project: During the Vietnam war 58,000 soldiers were killed and during that same period 51,000 women were killed by interpersonal violence.
The Clothesline Project has allowed communities to come together and to expose the truth about violence and its impact. An opportunity for you to participate in the Clothesline Project and play SAAM themed bingo will be held on April 8 at 5 p.m. at the Square Peg Brewerks. The items created during the event will then be put on display throughout Alamosa.
In addition to the Clothesline Project, Tu Casa, Inc. joins The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) in its SAAM campaign each year by organizing a poster-making contest with the Alamosa elementary schools. The previous year’s winners will be on display throughout the San Luis Valley. Please look for the posters in your community and learn more about this year’s campaign “Building Safe Online Spaces Together” by heading over to their page, www.nsvrc.org/saam.
Throughout April you can stay updated on events and activities by following our Facebook: www.facebook.com/TuCasaInc and Instagram: www.instagram.com/slvtucasa/ pages. We also request that you share photos of how you are raising awareness to the same pages.
Child abuse and sexual assault can no longer be ignored. We must work together to raise awareness and to end violence. If you or someone you know needs assistance, call the Tu Casa, Inc. 24-hour hotline at 719-589-2465. If you would like to donate in honor of those who have been impacted by abuse visit our website www.slvtucasa.net, and click on the link to donate. If you are interested in volunteering with our agency or would like more information about events, contact us at 719-589-2465.
Tu Casa, Inc., which houses Tu Casa, the Children’s Advocacy Center of the San Luis Valley, and the SANE program, is non-profit agency that helps children and adults live healthy, violence-free lives throughout the San Luis Valley. In 2021, Tu Casa provided services to 161 people and the Children’s Advocacy Center of the San Luis Valley provided services to 102 children. All services are free, confidential, and available in English and Spanish.