MOCSA turns the KC skyline teal to bring awareness to sexual violence
April is national Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a campaign to prevent and bring awareness to sexual violence. This year is the 2oth anniversary of SAAM, and to mark two very important days in the campaign, the Kansas City skyline will glow teal Tuesday and Wednesday evening.
Today is SAAM Day of Action. On this day, advocates and allies are encouraged to wear teal to show support for SAAM and survivors of sexual assault.
Tomorrow is Start by Believing Day, a campaign led by End Violence Against Women International. Start By Believing Day works to end the silence around sexual assault. According to Metropolitan Organization to Combat Sexual Assault (MOCSA), this day has had a significant impact on survivors.
“In the past 10 years since it began, Start by Believing has created positive change in our communities, improved responses to disclosures of sexual violence, and fostered a safe and supportive environment for survivors,” says MOCSA Communications Coordinator, Debbie Frederiksen.
MOCSA is a non-profit organization which has provided support for Kansas City survivors of sexual violence through counseling, education programs, and a crisis line since 1972. Typically, MOCSA hosts in-person events throughout April for SAAM, but due to the pandemic all events will be held online. To participate or view MOSCA events, check their website.
SAAM in 2021 hits home for many, as sexual violence increased during the pandemic. Additionally, emotional responses and stories of sexual assault flooded Tik Tok and other social media following a United Nations study which reported that 97% of women in the United Kingdom aged 18 to 24 have experienced sexual harassment in public spaces. Social media users have been sharing stories not only of sexual harassment but also sexual violence, tagging videos with #97PercentOfWomen.
The global response the study has received has called attention to the importance of SAAM and organizations such as MOCSA and End Violence Against Women International, as well as the widespread effect of sexual violence.
If you or someone you know has experienced/is experiencing sexual violence, help is available. MOCSA’s 24-hour crisis hotline can be reached at: (816) 531-0233 or (913) 642-0233. MOCSA also offers an online chat for victims of sexual violence through the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). The National Sexual Assault 24-hour hotline number is: 1-800-656-4673.
To learn more about MOCSA’s free-of-charge counseling services for survivors of sexual assault, click here.
In support of survivors, please consider making a donation to MOCSA or other non-profit organizations combating sexual violence.