SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and over the next several weeks, the Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire is raising awareness on an important issue.
The theme to this year's campaign is "I Ask" which highlights the importance of asking for consent in a relationship.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.
Doris L. Williams, Executive Director of the Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire, says she wants people to know it’s okay to talk about sexual violence. She says the crisis center offers a variety of services to help those who have been victimized, but also to educate people so they don’t become a victim or the perpetrator.
Williams says during the year, it can be difficult to find volunteers because it's a serious issue and the crisis center isn't a "cuddly agency," but during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, people tend to be more open.
"It's like an understanding. I was just having a conversation with someone who said, ‘oh it is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I may look at ways I can volunteer or donate,’" said Williams.
Speaking of donations, this month you can grab a glass of wine or maybe a pint of beer and help the Rape Crisis Center. On April 10, the Atlantic will hold a special fundraiser and donate money for each glass of rose that is sold.
Moon River Brewing Company will also be taking donations the entire month.
Williams says every year, one of the most popular events they hold is the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event at Forsyth Park. Men throughout the community are invited to strap on or slide on a pair of pumps or stilettos for a fun walk around Forsyth Park. The executive director says some of the guys are even brave enough to run in their high heels.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes will take place on Thursday, April 11 at the Forsyth Park bandshell.
The Rape Crisis Center also wants to educate college students on sexual assault. This year, the group is partnering with Savannah State University for their Sexual Assault Awareness Week.
On Tuesday, April 2, the university will hold a “Take Back the Night” event at Alexis Circle. Then, the university will hold two presentations; a presentation on the importance of consent in relationships is Wednesday at the Torian Auditorium; then on Thursday, a presentation on scenarios and what people should be looking out for when it comes to sexual assault will take place inside the auditorium. All of these events will begin at 6 p.m.
For a full list of Rape Crisis Center events during Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2019, visit the Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire on Facebook here.