For the seventh year, RESTORE is placing displays around the region to raise awareness for sexual violence.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which gives RESTORE and rape crisis programs nationwide a spotlight on sexual violence and the resources people can turn to for help.
In each of five counties RESTORE serves there is a display of 1,183 small orange flags. The flags represent the national statistic that an American is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds, or 1,183 every day. The displays also include explanatory signage and RESTORE’s 24-hour hotline number.
In addition to flags, RESTORE is hosting a plethora of Zoom-based programs, a gallery of “Letters of Hope” on our website, and a social media campaign for the nationwide #30DaysofSAAM content challenge.
The pandemic has brought many changes to our daily lives, which can include dangerous environments for survivors dealing with isolation or without trusted adults for support. One advantage has been an increase in access to technology. RESTORE is now working alongside TeleSAFE, a service that helps survivors get the acute care they need. Trained expert SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner) professionals, will walk any medical provider or Registered Nurse through forensic exams using telemedicine. This is very exciting news since there can often be a shortage of trained SAFE providers at our local hospitals and partnering with TeleSAFE will help to bridge the gap so survivors won’t need to travel to seek care.
RESTORE is partnering with multiple agencies across the region for the flag displays.
- In Wyoming County, the flags will be hosted at the Government Center in Warsaw through collaboration with the Wyoming County District Attorney’s Office.
- In Orleans County, signage will be posted at the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church in Albion.
- In Genesee County, the flags will be displayed on the lawn of the County Courthouse in Batavia.
- In Livingston County, RESTORE’s display has moved to a new home at the lawn of the County Courthouse in Geneseo.
- In Monroe County, flags are hosted at the Planned Parenthood health center on University Avenue in Rochester.
The flags remain on display throughout the month of April. Additional displays travel across the five-county region, hosted by the colleges with whom RESTORE partners for advocacy, education and support.
To view the #30DaysofSAAM social media campaigns, find RESTOREsas on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information, visit RESTOREsas.org or email RESTORE@ppcwny.org.
Anyone can support survivors or take part in Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sharing posts from RESTORE’s social media (@RESTOREsas on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) helps spread the word on local resources, and talking about consent and healthy boundaries with your loved ones is an important part of prevention.
This is an uncertain time, which can be difficult for many people in many different ways. Please reach out if you are in need of support, and take care in the coming weeks as we take our next steps together.
*The statistic comes from RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), which uses data and victim surveys from the Department of Justice and advocacy programs to calculate how often, on average, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States. Given an annual total of people identifying as survivors of sexual assault, RAINN averages across months, days, hours, and minutes.