NGO focuses on Sexual Assault Awareness Month

| 23/04/2010

(CNS): The Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation is recognising April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), with a series of promotional activities such as discussions in the media and print materials designed to reinforce the campaign theme: Believe, Talk, Act. The SAAM campaign follows the foundation’s recent ‘5-Steps’ media campaign, a public awareness effort to encourage us all to take simple steps to be the change we want to see in the world. Sexual Assault Awareness Month is supported by organisations all over the world.

Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation Director, SaraCollins, said, “Estella Scott-Roberts was a committed advocate of raising awareness about sexual assault in our community. As Director of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, she was instrumental in organising the first observance of SAAM in the Cayman Islands in 2005. The theme of Believe, Talk, Act, very much reflects Estella’s own positive and proactive approach to bringing about change.”

The SAAM campaign focuses on myths and facts about sexual assault. Popular myths include the belief that only women can be victims of sexual assault and that most assailants are strangers. Ms. Collins says, ”It is important to raise awareness within the community about sexual assault so we can learn to protect ourselves and our children from it and those who have been victims know the appropriate steps to take. Sadly it is more prevalent than many people would believe.” She adds, “Many people are not aware of what actually constitutes sexual assault. It is a myth that it is not sexual assault if the assailant and the victim are a couple or if the victim did not attempt to escape the situation.”

There are a number of public and private sector organisations in the Cayman Islands, which offer services to sexual assault victims as well as their partners, friends and family members. These organisations include the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, RCIPS’ Family Support Unit, Department of Counselling Services’ Family Resource Centre, and The Wellness Centre. The Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation encourages anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault to seek out support from one of these agencies or a trusted family member or friend.

More information about the Sexual Assault Awareness Month can be found on the foundation’s website, at www.esrfoundation.org.ky.

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