In 2017 alone, Sexual Assault Services Organization (SASO) responded to 173 individuals who called the sexual assault hotline.
Alternative Horizons responded to 539 individuals experiencing domestic violence.
Over 341 women and children throughout the region sought out shelter at the Volunteers of America Southwest Safehouse, fleeing violent situations.
These numbers tell of a grim reality that exists in our community – sexual assault and domestic violence remain commonplace.
The White Ribbon Campaign, with its focus on men speaking out against violence, aims to change this reality. The campaign is not about collective guilt, but about men coming forward to speak about the importance of healthy relationships and actively being positive role models to a growing population of youth.
Men have an incredible amount of influence in changing the way we talk about sexual assault and domestic violence. That influence can be used to positively change the culture around victim-blaming to a culture that holds offenders accountable.
The more we as a community embrace the fact that we all play an active role in making our communities safer, the more successful we will be in collectively changing the current situation.
Imagine that our community is free of violence, that the vulnerable are not harassed or harmed. We can do this.
Let’s all do our part in ending violence in our community – pledge never to commit, excuse, or remain silent about sexual and domestic violence.