Cedar Falls Public Safety will be partnering with Riverview Center to help increase education and encourage public discussion during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), recognized nationally every April.
"Sexual assault remains one of the least-reported crimes in the nation and the impact can be devastating for survivors," said Cedar Falls Public Safety Lieutenant Kari Rea. "We want to overcome the stigma by opening the conversation in the community and promote resources so that individuals can get the support they need."
To increase awareness, Cedar Falls Public Safety will have teal magnets displayed on each of their police cruisers throughout April.
"The magnets invite the public to ask questions and learn more about the lasting effect sexual assault has on victims and the community as a whole," said Lieutenant Rea. "Sexual assault can leave survivors with long-term issues of post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, depression, eating disorders, suicide, and more."
Cedar Falls Public Safety will also be working with Riverview Center to promote resources for those seeking help as well as provide additional education to officers so they can effectively assist victims of sexual trauma.
"Sexual Assault Awareness Month is focused on bringing in audiences beyond our sexual assault advocates, particularly those who may not realize they play an important role in preventing sexual violence," said Jedd Spidell, Director of Development and Public Relations at Riverview Center. "Riverview Center is proud to work collaboratively with the public safety officers in our service area to build bridges over the barriers that exist for survivors of sexual violence. Some of the collaborative efforts between these two entities are shared at the table of continued education on trauma-informed response and hand-in-hand strategies on healing forward. Riverview Center thanks Public Safety entities and other community partners for bringing awareness to sexual assault in the month of April."
Riverview Center provides free sexual assault services to 14 counties in the Northeast Region of Iowa including Black Hawk County. Learn more about their work and find resources at https://riverviewcenter.org/.