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Putting an end to sexual assault in Archuleta County

The statistics are startling.

According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010 Summary Report, nearly one in four women living in Colorado report being raped in their lifetime.

When other sexual crimes are added, such as unwanted sexual contact and other types of coercion, that number rises to one in two women and one in four men in Colorado who have experienced sexually violent crimes in their lifetime.

Archuleta County is no exception, with over 50 victims of sexual assault served last year.

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year’s national theme focuses on promoting healthy sexuality to prevent sexual violence.

During the month of April, organizations across Colorado and the nation will join together to promote greater public awareness about sexual assault. This month provides an excellent opportunity for our community to demonstrate its commitment to ending sexual assault and showing support to the numerous survivors in Archuleta County. It is also an opportunity to educate the public on the seriousness of sexual violence, the prevalence of this crime and effective prevention programs.

The Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program (ACVAP) is offering several opportunities for you to show your support, learn more and get involved.

First, this Saturday, during the Earth Day Celebration in Town Park, ACVAP, along with other area nonprofits, will host an information booth. Come learn about the exciting programs we are offering youth, the comprehensive services we provide victims, as well as the many volunteer options we have available for you to “Recycle Your Talents!”

Next, come Walk a Mile in Their Jeans. It’s not really a mile; it’s a quick, fun walk around the main city block wearing your favorite jeans. This year, ACVAP is celebrating Denim Day, an international day honoring victims of sexual assault. Come take a refreshing peace walk on Wednesday, April 25, at noon at Bell Tower Park.

And, finally, learn more about teen dating violence and sexual assault from the thought-provoking and enlightening film “Speak.” Kristen Stewart stars as a teenage girl struggling not only with the aftermath of a rape, but the ridicule and abandonment of her classmates. Don’t miss this must-see film and learn how you have the power to prevent sexual assault. This free movie begins at 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 25, at the Liberty Theatre.

Please join us at any or all of these events and show your commitment to ending sexual assault in Archuleta County.

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