April: National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and National Child Abuse Prevention Month

saam_tealribbon_pngThe month of April is nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and Child Abuse Prevention Month. Throughout the years, Lauren’s Kids has honored this national month of significance through donation drives for child advocacy and sexual assault treatment centers and awareness-raising activities including our ‘Walk in My Shoes’ journey across Florida and the broadcast of 30-minute Lauren’s Kids-produced television program ‘Intimate Crimes.’

In 2017, we will be inviting lawmakers and Floridians statewide to walk in the shoes of those affected by sexual violence through the ‘Walk in My Shoes’ display at the Florida Capitol. And we need your help (note: you can participate regardless of location)!

 

“Walk in My Shoes” at the Florida Capitol Rotunda: April 19-21

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Broward County Nancy J. Cotterman Sexual Assault Treatment Center, Florida Council Against Sexual Violence and Lauren’s Kids invite you to ‘Walk in the Shoes’ of Floridians affected by sexual violence.                                           

This awareness event is supported by Lauren’s Kids founder/CEO, Sen. Lauren Book, and Rep. Kristin Jacobs.

To raise awareness of the issue of sexual violence and how it affects Floridians of all ages, genders, races, religions, and socioeconomic statuses, Lauren’s Kids, in conjunction with the Broward County Nancy J. Cotterman Sexual Assault Treatment Center and the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence will create and host a week-long display within the Capitol rotunda, in collaboration with Sexual Assault Programs statewide.

This display will consist of:

  • Physical pairs of shoes representing those worn by survivors of sexual assault, with accompanying stories
  • Paper shoes with messages/artwork submitted by survivors and those affected by sexual violence across the state; templates provided below
  • Facts about sexual assault and survivorship

This display is intended to raise awareness and shatter stigmas surrounding sexual violence, as well as give victims, survivors and those affected by this issue a voice at the Capitol — asking others to “walk in their shoes.”

 

How to Participate:

This effort, designed to raise awareness of and commemorate April as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and National Child Abuse Prevention Month, can only be made possible through your participation. We hope you will join us in taking our message and the messages of survivors of sexual assault to the Florida Capitol building by participating in the following ways:

Walk in My Shoes Display1. Work with clients and community members to author impact statements and send in physical pairs of shoes for display. Guidelines below:

The Shoe Project embodies the experiences of sexual assault survivors, bringing to life the crime of sexual violence. The stories attached to the shoes are those of children, mothers, sisters, partners, brothers, sons, daughters, friends and neighbors.  The goal is to create a visual for the viewer of the experience of the loss of the survivor.Survivors work with their therapists/victim advocates to draft an abbreviated (five to ten sentences – or can be few words) first person narrative of the victimization (impact statement). The narrative does not identify the survivor. The narrative is printed (font size 14-16 – must be small enough to fit onto approximately 3X5 card – yet large enough for ease of reading) onto blue/teal construction paper and laminated. Laminated card is hole-punched (1 hole on left hand corner). Survivor and therapist/counselor/advocate locate/donate shoe(s) that help represent the survivor’s journey. This can include anything from shoes that are similar to the ones worn during victimization or similar to ones worn during the healing process. Laminated card is then attached to shoe(s).

Send physical shoes and impact statements to:

Attn: Courtney Nomina
Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
1820 E. Park Ave., Suite 100
Tallahassee, FL 32301

Physical shoes must be received by the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence no later than Friday, March 31, 2017.


2.
Download, print, personalize and physically or digitally send in paper shoes for display.

Paper shoes must be received no later than Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

Send physical copies of paper shoes to:

Attn: Courtney Nomina
Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
1820 E. Park Ave., Suite 100
Tallahassee, FL 32301

Or, scan and send paper shoes to [email protected].

 

For Questions, Please Contact:

Claire VanSusteren, Lauren’s Kids
[email protected]
786-288-5045

Courtney Nomina, Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
[email protected]
850-297-2000

 

About the Month of Significance:

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention month.

One out of every 6 women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime, and about 3 percent of men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetimes. or attempted or completed rape in their lifetimes.  On average, there are 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.

We know that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will become a victim of sexual abuse before their 18th birthday, and 45 percent of these victims will not disclose abuse for 5 or more years. There are 42 million survivors of child sexual abuse living in the U.S. today.

Survivors of sexual abuse face lifelong consequences including mental health issues, substance abuse, PTSD, lost wages and more. While this information is grim, 95% of sexual abuse IS preventable through education and awareness.