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April is Child Abuse & Sexual Assault Victim Month

Sarah Metts talked to local Centre County non-profits and youth service organizations who are partnering up to help educate and engage the community, she has the details on what you can do to help, Sarah?

Jess, during the month of April, to show recognition and support the courthouse here in Bellefonte is lit up blue and teal. Blue represents child abuse victims, and teal is for sexual assault victims.

“Were all about the mission and were all about making sure people get the best help for whatever their issue is.”

On Wednesday, President Biden signed a proclamation on National Child Abuse Prevention Month emphasizing its importance more than ever before due to the stress and hardship children and families have faced over the past year.

Centre County youth service bureau Denise says because of the loss of face to face interaction, unfortunately, people who need help are not being seen.

“I think the reporting is down, which makes people believe that the incidents are down, but the incidents are not down I think especially once the pandemic ends and people are engaging more in face to face contact, we will see a big spike in incidents.”

According to a survey done by the CDC and other organizations, nearly one in 5 women and one in 71 men across the country have experienced rape and since March 2020, Centre Safe has helped serve over 200 adults of sexual violence.

Officials say, one in every four children will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.

In Centre County, the youth service bureau, along with Centre Safe, Mount Nittany Health Children’s Advocacy Center of Centre County, Children and Youth Services, and YMCA of Centre County partnered up to help raise local awareness and show support for anyone who may face these problems.

“We are very lucky in Centre County to have all of these agencies, and especially how well we all work together and collaborate and understand the importance of the issue and getting help to people in our community who need it the most.”

Two activities you can participate in to help raise awareness kindness rocks and chalk the walk.

“Were having community members participate in putting positive messages on those so we can put those out in the community so that when individuals come across those rocks, it helps raise awareness about those issues and that it is
happening here. The next thing were doing is chalk the walk it’s much of the same. Were asking community members to put positive messages out to survivors or to bring awareness that these are things happening here and there are things we can do to help.”

For more information on awareness activities, or prevention, you can head over to YMCA of Centre Countys website

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