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Letter - Sexual violence is preventable

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To the editor:

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and provides an opportunity to highlight year-round efforts to aid those affected by sexual violence and work to prevent future sexual assaults. Through local and national events and campaigns, Sexual Assault Awareness Month highlights sexual violence as a preventable problem.

Did you know that you probably talked to someone today who has been a victim of sexual assault? Maybe it was a family member, a friend, or a cashier at a convenience store. If not today, then at some point in your life, you've met someone who has dealt with the pain, the emotional distress, and countless other long-term effects of sexual abuse.

We know that one in five women and one in 33 men will be a victim of sexual assault at some point in their lives.

This April, Someplace Safe will be hosting a number of awareness events and activities focused on educating the community about sexual violence and how we can work together to help prevent it.

Free "Bloom into Awareness" flower seed packets will be available at many locations around the county. There will be an art exhibit held at the Douglas County Public Library from April 19 to April 30, entitled "Creative H.O.P.E," featuring art with themes revolving around victimization and/or hope. Someplace Safe will be accepting submissions for the exhibit until Friday, April 16.

In addition, we will be hosting a "Community Forum on Sexual Violence" on Thursday, April 22 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., also at the Douglas County Library. The forum will begin with a showing of the short film, Stop Sexual Violence: Listen and Lead, and will be followed by a short presentation, allowing time for questions and discussion.

Amity Schneider, advocate,

Someplace Safe - Douglas County

Editor's note: For more information, go to www.someplacesafe.info or contact Someplace Safe Douglas County Outreach at (320) 762-1995, or call the toll-free 24-hour line at 1-800-974-3359.

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