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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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  • Attorney General Scott Pruitt Monday recognized April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Oklahoma. He was joined by the Oklahoma City Barons, the Norman Police Department, the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (OCADVSA), and a childhood survivor of sexual assault.
     
    “Sexual assault is a crime that affects Oklahomans from every community,” Pruitt said. “It’s imperative that we make clear that violence of any kind is not acceptable and we must continue to hold offenders responsible.”
     
    For the past 12 years, Sexual Assault Awareness Month has been observed across the nation to help raise awareness and to educate communities about prevention.
     
    The Oklahoma City Barons’ players are wearing teal stickers on their helmets for the remainder of the season and have placed a teal ribbon in the ice at the Cox Convention Center. They also will donate $1 from every ticket sold in April, including any playoff games, to programs that help educate Oklahomans about prevention. In addition, the team has a special observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month planned for Saturday, April 20.
     
    The AG’s Victim Services Unit administers funding and certification for the 29 domestic and sexual violence programs across the state. The unit also provides training for law enforcement, prosecutors and shelter workers.
     
    Because of fear or stigmas, assaults often go unreported; many victims suffer alone in silence and never seek assistance.
     
    Oklahoma Safeline, a 24-hour statewide referral hotline is available for victims of sexual assault and stalking. Calls made to Safeline at (800) 522-SAFE are answered by crisis intervention specialists who can provide information about law enforcement and safety options, and also can refer callers to local resources for help.
     
    Other available resources include:
     
    • The OCADVSA helps organize member programs to prevent and eliminate sexual and domestic violence and stalking in Oklahoma. For more information, call (405) 524-0700 or e-mail info@ocadvsa.org.
    • The Rape Crisis Center at the YWCA in Oklahoma City has specialized therapy for women and men. For more information, call (405) 947-4506 or go online to www.ywca.org/oklahomacity or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YMCAOKC.
    • The National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website at www.nsvrc.org has a wealth of resources and additional information on sexual assault prevention and assistance.
     
    Pruitt added that all Oklahomans can play a key role in preventing sexual violence through education and leading by example.
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    The mission of the AG’s Victim Services Unit is to improve services for Oklahoma crime victims and families who have suffered injustice at the hands of an offender. For information, visit http://www.oag.ok.gov/oagweb.nsf/vservices.html.

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