April is sexual assault awareness month

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul issued a proclamation on Tuesday, designating April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in New York State. Gov. Hochul also announced that a $750,000 grant has been awarded to help eradicate sexual violence on college campuses and provide support services to survivors.

In recognition of the proclamation, beginning the night of April 5, state landmarks will be illuminated in teal.

"Eradicating sexual assault starts with changing the culture—encouraging conversations that bring the gravity of these issues to light, promoting our collective responsibility to protect others, and creating an environment that makes survivors feel safe," Gov. Hochul said. "Today, I am proud to issue a proclamation recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, invest in organizations committed to keeping our college campuses safe, and launch a statewide public awareness campaign to normalize productive engagement on these issues, and together we will continue to make major strides in protecting people and empowering survivors."

The Enough is Enough Training and Technical Assistance Center grant has been awarded to two organizations—New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault.

The Enough is Enough Training and Technical Assistance Center works with rape crisis and sexual assault services programs, which then assist colleges in implementing response, training, and prevention requirements under the Enough is Enough Law. The bill was signed in 2015.

To coincide with the proclamation and the grant award, the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence is launching a month-long public awareness campaign titled: "Start the Conversation: New Yorkers Against Sexual Assault." The campaign will use social media to highlight the prevalence, severity, and long-lasting impact of sexual violence, the importance of promoting open dialogue on sexual violence, and productive ways for individuals to engage on the issue.

The OPDV is also launching a "Sexual Violence 101" training series available to the general public.

To find out more about Sexual Assault Awareness Month, please click here.