WEST CHESTER, PA (April 11, 2022) – The Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County, Inc. (CVC) coordinated events to kick-off Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) earlier this month with the help of numerous community partners. SAAM is a national initiative that intersects with CVC’s work with victims of sexual violence and prevention education throughout the year.
During the first week of April, CVC partnered with West Chester Borough, Kennett Square Borough, Phoenixville Borough, and the City of Coatesville to hang teal ribbons in recognition of SAAM and to honor victim/survivors of sexual violence. West Chester Police Chief Jim Morehead, West Goshen Police Chief Mike Carroll, Chester County DA Deb Ryan, Kennett Square Borough Manager Kyle Coleman, Kennett Square Police Chief Bill Holdsworth, Phoenixville Mayor Peter Urscheler, Phoenixville Community Health Foundation Program Officer Viviann Schorle, Phoenixville Police Chief Brian Marshall, Lieutenant Rodger Ollis, joined CVC and many other members of law enforcement, community members, staff and volunteers to hang the ribbons.
Viviann Schorle from PCHF commented on the Phoenixville launch, “We are happy to support CVC and the teal ribbons in Phoenixville’s downtown area to highlight sexual assault awareness month. CVC provides countless hours of prevention education to our Phoenixville students and supportive services to our families impacted by sexual violence.”
In expression of solidarity with those affected by sexual violence, multiple police departments throughout Chester County will be displaying CVC SAAM awareness ribbon on their police vehicles throughout the month. Police departments include West Goshen, the City of Coatesville, West Chester Borough, East Pikeland, Kennett Square Borough, and others continue to join the movement.
When asked about his experience with the partnership to promote SAAM and CVC, City of Coatesville Police Lieutenant Rodger Ollis said, “Raising awareness, providing prevention efforts and appropriately supporting victims requires partnership and collaboration among a variety of organizations. We were privileged to have the opportunity to team up with CVC again this year, having members of our police department join caring CVC advocates in our business district to display awareness ribbons and information cards.”
CVC has provided support for victims of sexual violence and child abuse for 50 years, being there for victims from the first phone call to when they have regained the strength to move beyond their victimization and its immediate impact. CVC is proud to be the only organization in Chester County which provides comprehensive services to victims of all crimes. About half of CVC’s clients experience some form of sexual violence, such as rape, harassment, assault or stalking. Regrettably, half of these clients are children under the age of 18 who have been abused and are navigating the difficult process of bringing their abuser to justice.
“April is an opportunity for CVC to highlight the voices of sexual violence victim/survivors, and bring their stories forward,” shares Christine Zaccarelli, CVC’s CEO. “Respecting the dignity of victims of sexual violence means that first, you believe. To believe and listen to a victim’s story is to recognize their trauma. Doing so provides an ally and the necessary strength for victims to heal. Our experienced Advocates and Counselors help adults, children and their families move through and beyond their victimization to a more hopeful, healthy future and our Violence Prevention Educators work every day to create a safe and healthy community.”
In addition to direct services and child abuse prevention, CVC’s Primary Prevention and Education team, led by Joe Myers, provides primary prevention education in schools, businesses, professional groups and other venues. With the goal of stopping all forms of violence, the prevention program reaches thousands of individuals each year, providing practical skills with the goal of reducing violence in our community.
April will include numerous online and in person awareness activities and campaigns, including #TealTuesday, #DenimDay on April 26, and community outreach initiatives with local businesses and police departments.
To find ways to get involved with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, contact Develompment Associate Catherine Clauhs at email@example.com. To schedule a primary prevention education program please contact Director of Prevention Education Joe Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County, Inc. (CVC) is a nonprofit agency providing free,
immediate, and confidential crisis response and compassionate support to children and adults
impacted by sexual violence and all other crime. We provide assistance through counseling, advocacy, resources,
and education. The Center fosters community awareness and understanding through its comprehensive outreach and prevention programs.