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Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

Palm Beach County Victim Services and Certified Rape Crisis Center (PBC Victim Services) and the Library System are recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and our goal is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. This year’s theme is: “I Ask” – clarifying the “consent” conversation.

  • Consent is a clear, concrete example of what it takes to end sexual harassment, abuse and assault.
  • Consent is about more than just asking — it is about listening to and accepting the answer without pressuring someone to change their mind.
  • Consent and respecting boundaries are a part of healthy relationships.

The #MeToo movement has brought sexual assault into the forefront. The impact of sexual assault on survivors is long lasting. What can we do as a society to prevent another #MeToo story? One way that everyone can get involved is by always respecting the personal and emotional boundaries of those around them. We can ensure that boundaries are not crossed by asking for consent.

PBC Victim Services is the local Certified Rape Crisis Center in Palm Beach County with five locations throughout the County working closely with multi-disciplined agencies including the State Attorney’s Office and all Law Enforcement Agencies. We provide comprehensive services to primary and secondary victims of sexual violence, domestic violence, stalking, survivors of DUI, homicide and other violent crimes. Our services are free of charge and confidential. Our Helpline – 561-833-7273 – is answered by trained sexual assault counselors 24/7.

Survivors, allies and the supporting community are invited to the events held throughout the month. The Library will have book displays highlighting sexual assault awareness and prevention along with PBC Victim Services resource information. A list of materials will be available here with links so you can check out and reserve these materials.

Upcoming Events

Sexual Assault Awareness Month/SAAM Proclamation

Robert W. Weisman Governmental Center
Commission Chamber, 6th floor
301 North Olive Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL
Tue, Apr 02, 9:15 am – 10:30 am

Commissioner Melissa McKinlay will be sponsoring the SAAM Proclamation declaring April “Sexual Assault Awareness Month.” Please plan for security, parking, etc. Attend and show your support in ending sexual violence!

Field of Hope: National Day of Action “Survivor Speak Out”

PBC Victim Services SART Center
4210 N. Australian Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
Tue, Apr 02, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

This nationally recognized day provides an opportunity for advocates to engage with their communities to kick off SAAM events throughout April. Survivors, family, friends and professionals are invited to write/then read (optional) their expressions on a flag which is then placed in the ground. The flag display will represent all victims served in 2018. One large flag will represent the 85 percent of those victims who did not reach out for services. There will be food, a mask-making table, other stations and music.

Contact: Sharon Daugherty 625-2568

Start By Believing Day: Pledge Challenge

Wed, Apr 03 (All Day)

Show your support for survivors by signing the online “Start By Believing” Pledge. Share this on social media to help Palm Beach County win the challenge!! https://www.facebook.com/ PBCVictimServices https://twitter.com/PBCDVS http://pbcgov.com/publicsafety/victimservices/

Officer of the Year Award 2019

West Palm Beach Police Department, Community Room
600 Banyan Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Mon, Apr 08, 8:30 am – 11:00 am

Since 1987, this award recognizes a law enforcement officer for their outstanding work with crime victims as their focus is always “victimcentered.” The Officer of the Year Award is presented each year at the Opening Ceremony of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by the Victim Services Officer of the Year Award Committee.

Contact: Ellen Craddock-Day 274-1500

“The Tale” Movie Screening

Compass Gay & Lesbian Community Center
201 N. Dixie Hwy
Lake Worth, FL 33460
Mon, Apr 08, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Palm Beach County Victim Services co-hosts the movie screening of “The Tale,” which shows the journey of a sexual assault survivor. “Jennifer has it all, with a loving boyfriend and a great career as a journalist and professor. But when her mother discovers a story - “The Tale” - that Jennifer wrote when she was 13, detailing a special relationship Jennifer had with two adult coaches, Jennifer returns to the Carolina horse farm where the events transpired to try to reconcile her version of events with the truth.”

What Were You Wearing Art Exhibit (Pop-Up Event)

Palm Beach State College
4200 Congress Avenue
Lake Worth, FL 33461
Tue, Apr 09, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

The exhibition aims to explore the cultural attitudes around sexual assault— victim blaming and implying that a survivor could have prevented their assault had they worn something less revealing. The exhibit will display outfits from survivors, similar to what they wore during their assault.

Ceremony in the Garden: Honoring All Crime Victims in Palm Beach County

Mounts Botanical Garden & Clayton Hutcheson Agricultural Center
559 N. Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33415
Thu, Apr 11, 8:30 am – 11:30 am

The Eighth Annual Ceremony in the Garden will honor all crime victims in PBC by highlighting and engaging in healing activities to include their personal stories, the presence of therapy dogs and the opportunity to participate in guided relaxation with a continental breakfast before the event. (Enter at Golf Street from Military Trail; drive to end of street and turn left into Clayton Hutcheson Complex.)

Contact: Ellen Craddock-Day 274-1500

What Were You Wearing Art Exhibit

Palm Beach State College
3160 PGA Boulevard
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Mon, Apr 15 – Mon, Apr 22 (All Day)

The exhibition aims to explore the cultural attitudes around sexual assault— victim blaming and implying that a survivor could have prevented their assault had they worn something less revealing. The exhibit will display outfits from survivors, similar to what they wore during their assault.

Denim Day & Fence Jean Display

Wed, Apr 24 (All Day)

Wear denim to show support for survivors! This global event was triggered by a ruling from the Italian Supreme Court claiming that because the victim was wearing tight jeans on the day she was raped, she must have helped her assailant remove them and thus the sex was consensual and not rape; the rape conviction was overturned. The following day, in a show of solidarity, women working in the Italian government wore jeans to protest the decision of the Italian Parliament. Throughout the month Sexual Assault Survivors will express their healing through words with jean art display on the SART Office fence on Australian.