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“It’s ok to speak up,” the color of sexual assault awareness month is teal

Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 12:44 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - April can sometimes bring spring showers, like it did Friday.

However, that didn’t stop the the Working Against Violence (WAVI) team from tying teal bows around Rapid City.

April is sexual assault awareness month, teal being the official color. Which, is what the bows are advocating for.

400 are being tied around the Box Elder and Rapid City areas, like at Main Street Square and City Hall.

Within every ribbon is information where victims can find resources. Heidi Mecham, WAVI’s Development Director, hopes the bows let them know they’re standing with them, and so are the organizations that allowed them to be there, “but also to just bring in that support. Whether it’s for our victims, for the shelter, just anyone and everyone that can support this. That just means we have that much more support for our clients that come to us.”

Mecham says sexual assault awareness has a complicated history, being an area people have been uncomfortable with talking about in the past.

She says efforts like this one help rid of those stigmas surrounding the subject, because ”it starts letting people know that it’s ok to speak up. That’s why we chose to go with Empower Voices, because not every victim’s voice in empowered. It’s time that they realize that they have power behind them, and supporting them.”

Mecham says being sexually assaulted can entail long term damage to a person, and even cause PTSD in some cases.

For those who haven’t been directly affected, she hopes the bows go to show how prevalent an issue sexual assault is not only in the community, but nation wide, and gain them as an ally.

She says their website houses more information and resources.

The bows will stay up through April.

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