The Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma is joining forces with other domestic and sexual violence agencies across the United States to participate in the national recognized campaign, “No More.” The campaign is part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month which takes place in April.
Sexual violence occurs when someone is forced or manipulated into unwanted sexual activity without domestic and sexual violence. It is a widespread crime and occurs daily in our schools, workplace and communities, according to the non-profit.
Crimes of sexual violence are highly under reported and community individuals can work together to prevent violence by participating in positive initiatives such as the No More Campaign.
The Family Shelter serves victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
“We served over 240 people last year through our services and fielded more than 270 crisis calls,” Dee Dee Hunter, shelter manager, said. “Sixteen of those victims were sexual assault from our community.”
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in six boys and one in four girls will experience a sexual assault before the age of 18.
“With more than 4,000 reported sexual assaults across our high school campuses each year, we must do more,” Stacey Mason, executive director, said. “The Family Shelter is joining forces with the Chickasaw Nations and area schools to educate youth on the dangers of sexual assault, prevention and where to go for help. We are launching a Strike Out Sexual Assault baseball campaign. Family Shelter staff will set up booths at area baseball games and hand out information about sexual assault awareness and be available to teens who may need an advocate to talk to.”
Other events will include community wide training called, “Safe Town,” which educates law enforcement, social workers and community members on obstacles domestic and sexual violence victims face on a daily basis. The training will be April 30 and pre-registration by April 5 is required.
For more information on the No More campaign, visit www.nomore.org or www.ardmorevshelter.com.
To help the family shelter or register for “Safe Town,” call (580) 226-3750. Victims can receive help by contacting the 24-hour crisis line at (580) 226-4624.
Strike Out Sexual Assault Campaign schedule:
Thursday, Healdton vs. Dickson, 4:30 p.m. (softball) April 6, Turner vs. Healdton, 4:30 p.m. (baseball) April 9, Milburn vs. Victory Life Academy, 4 p.m. (softball) April 13, Davis vs. Plainview, 4:30 p.m. (baseball)