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November 1, 2014

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Letter: Sexual Assault Awareness Month hopes to raise awareness

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The month of April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the United States. The goal of Sexual Assault Awareness Month is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.

This April communities across the country are proclaiming "It's time ... to talk about it!" Let's be honest, "it" is not an easy subject to talk about.

Most of us are uncomfortable talking about sex. This year's campaign encourages individuals and communities to bring healthy sexuality into the conversation on how we connect with and respect one another in order to prevent sexual violence. By promoting healthy sexuality and encouraging conversation we can prevent sexual violence.

Healthy sexuality is having the knowledge and power to express sexuality in ways that enrich our lives. Healthy sexuality is free from coercion and violence. We need to promote healthy behaviors that encourage consensual relationships that are respectful and informed.

Individuals need accurate information about relationships, sexuality and positive behaviors to ensure the opportunity to make healthy sexual choices. These choices impact our lives, loved ones, communities and society.

All of us have a role in building safe, healthy relationships and communities. When we start the conversation about healthy sexuality, we raise awareness.

The Allen County Rape Crisis Coalition is partnering with local agencies to host a series of events throughout the month of April to raise awareness of Sexual Assault in Lima and the surrounding areas, including Bluffton.

Two events happening in Bluffton are:

o Bluffton University will be hosting the showing of a documentary called "Sex & Money: A National Search for Human Worth" on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012.

This is a documentary about domestic minor sex trafficking and the modern-day abolitionist movement fighting to stop it. Since September 2009, the crew has traveled to over 30 states and conducted more than 75 interviews with federal agents, victims, politicians, activists, psychologists, porn stars, among others. This event will be held in Stutzman Lecture Hall and will be followed with a discussion of the movie.

o Sex & Money Documentary - Saturday, April 21st 10 a.m. at the Shannon Theater, Bluffton, Ohio - sponsored by Allen County Rape Crisis Coalition & the Northwest Ohio Human Trafficking Rescue & Restore Coalition. *Free Entrance* Donations accepted at the door to benefit the Northwest Ohio Human Trafficking Rescue & Restore Coalition.

Amanda Borders
Bluffton University Student
Crime Victim Services Intern
Bluffton, Ohio

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