National and Community Organizations Focus on Raising Awareness of Sexual Violence during April, and NSVRC Honors 20 Individuals with Awards

Date: April 25, 2005 Contact: Susan Lewis 1-877-739-3895, Ext. 102 or Eboni Braxton, Ext 119.

Source: National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) National and Community Organizations Focus on Raising Awareness of Sexual Violence during April, and NSVRC Honors 20 Individuals with Awards. Enola, PA.

(April 25, 2005) The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) announces that in April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), the nation witnesses a wide variety of awareness raising events. Typically during April advocates and educators conduct awareness raising events and activities. “This year, however”, according to Karen Baker, Director of the NSVRC, “you will see a more diverse group of organizations and agencies promoting awareness and prevention of sexual violence. We’ve had requests for SAAM information and products from healthcare agencies, churches, the military, law enforcement, and private companies.

Traditionally, advocates have spoken out about the importance of eliminating sexual violence, but now we see a greater recognition that the task requires many communities, groups and allies to succeed.” On the importance of SAAM, Dr. Rodney Hammond, Director, Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, “It is a time to engage communities around the issue of sexual violence and raise awareness about its devastating effects.” He continued, “The impact of sexual violence on an individual is life-changing. Physical injuries with both short- and long-term consequences can result.” The CDC “is working to prevent sexual violence before it occurs.”

Baker said that April is also a good time for us to recognize the commitment and successes of individuals who work so tirelessly to eliminate sexual violence, raise awareness, and help victims. The NSVRC presented two different awards this year. The Award for Outstanding Advocacy and Community Working in Ending Sexual Violence was presented to individuals in 17 states. Although many awardees are advocates and educators, award winners this year also include a judge from Indiana and a police officer from Virginia. Marianne Winters, the award recipient in Massachusetts, shared her thoughts about the award. “I’m humbled and thankful for this honor, because it signifies an awareness of the importance of the work that all of us do at rape crisis centers and in local and state coalitions. Together with our friends in law enforcement, hospitals, social service agencies, faith communities and advocacy groups, we are slowly but surely building communities that will someday be free of violence.”

NSVRC also recognized three additional people with the Award for Outstanding Effectiveness in Raising Awareness and Promoting Prevention of Sexual Violence. It honors those whose work has had particular national impact. The award winners are: Florence Holway, for her tenacity in working for improvements in the adjudication of rape cases, and her courage in sharing her story through documentary film. Televised on HBO, the documentary is entitled A Rape in a Small Town: The Florence Holway Story: America Undercover. Tillie Black Bear, for her lifetime commitment to helping victims of sexual violence and her tireless work and leadership in promoting victim services and safety. She is a founder and current Director of the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society in South Dakota, the first women’s shelter in Indian Country. Linda E. Saltzman, Ph.D., for her commitment to preventing violence against women, and promoting connections between research, policy and advocacy. Dr Saltzman was a senior scientist with CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (Awarded posthumously) The NSVRC provides resources and information on sexual violence to rape crisis centers, state, territory and tribal coalitions, allied organizations, agencies, educators, media and the general public. Phone toll free: 877-739-3895 or visit

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