Bellefonte, Centre County, Pa-Tuesday, the Centre County Commissioners declared that April will be recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The commissioners presented a proclamation to Centre Safe, a nonprofit in the county that offers services to victims of sexual assault.
They provide a safe shelter for assault victims, a crisis hotline, and education programs on preventing sexual assaults.
This year’s theme for awareness month is “I ASK“, emphasizing the importance of consent.
“It’s about asking for consent… which we do every day. We ask for permission to hold somebody’s hand or to go out to lunch with them, so we’re asking for people to consider that surrounding sexual assault awareness month,“ said Dawn McKee, Special Projects Coordinator for Centre Safe.
McKee added that Centre Safe is looking to make consent something that’s not an awkward subject.
“I think it’s maybe more uncomfortable to ask, when involving some kind of sexual contact…. and people don’t consider that. But what we’re saying is that it’s important because that’s about prevention. You need to ask permission and then respect that person’s decision,“ she said.
One April,1 Centre Safe is holding a press conference with community leaders on sexual violence prevention at the Ramada Hotel in State College.