Editor's Note: April 10-16 is Crime Victims Rights Week. Throughout the week, The Daily Press will be publishing opinion columns on the subject authored by local officials and agencies who aid and support the victims of crime. This article was authored by the Alliance Against Violence & Abuse, Inc.
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April is also designated as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Observing SAAM throughout April each year is one way that advocates, survivors, and members of our communities bring awareness to the issue of preventing sexual assault and rape. This year's theme is "It's timeto get involved." The official day of action was April 5.
The Alliance Against Violence and Abuse provides services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in Delta, Schoolcraft and Menominee counties.
Our goal is to raise public awareness and to educate individuals on how to prevent domestic and sexual violence.
Each day, people witness behaviors that range from verbal abuse, to being sexually or physically violent.
It's difficult to speak up. You don't know what the right thing is to do. What if it's not safe? Try to approach the situation as if it involved a family member or friend. Would you want someone to help your family member or friend if they were being abused in any way?
If you think someone is in trouble, go help them. Ask if they are ok and encourage them to talk to people who provide help, guidance and support. If you don't feel comfortable approaching a situation on your own, ask - a friend, co-worker, anyone - for help. Call 911 if you believe law enforcement needs to be involved.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence, please call 789-1166 or 1-800-682-1649. The Alliance Against Violence & Abuse can help you. We offer a 24-hour crisis line, emergency safe housing, counseling, support groups, advocacy, information and referrals.
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The Alliance Against Violence & Abuse, Inc. partners with other victim service agencies in the community to promote victims' rights, honor crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf.