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Letcher County Judge/Executive Jim Ward recently signed a proclamation recognizing March as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Pictured from left are Chrisandrea Godsey, victim advocate and crisis counselor for The Rising Center, Ward and Jessica Adams, volunteer coordinator for The Rising Center.

March is sexual assault awareness month in Kentucky. Nearly one half of Kentuckians report that they have experienced sexual assault or violence by the time they reach adulthood. Many incidents of sexual violence go unreported.

To support local efforts to end sexual violence, The Rising Center, a program that provides rape crisis services in Letcher County, is providing educational opportunities to the public to increase awareness of sexual assault issues. It is also working to inform people about local services that are available to individuals affected by sexual violence and abuse.

The Rising Center provides support to children and adults affected by sexual violence, including a 24-hour rape crisis hotline, legal and medical advocacy, crisis counseling, therapeutic services and referrals. Operating under the auspices of Kentucky River Community Care, the center serves Leslie, Letcher, Lee, Knott, Breathitt, Perry, Owsley and Wolfe counties. The majority of its services are free to the public.

“The Rising Center is delighted to collaborate with local government about this very important topic,” said Jill Robertson, associate director of The Rising Center. “It is essential that community members are aware of our services. Too often victims suffer alone assuming that there is no one to assist out there. The Rising Center is here to help.”

Various events are planned for the community during the month of March that are intended to increase knowledge about sexual assault issues. These include an open house for The Rising Center on March 11, a walk for the annual “Take Back the Night” campaign on March 19 and a public exhibition for “The Clothesline Project” at month’s end.

For more information about The Rising Center’s programs or to find out how to participate in these upcoming events, contact Jessica Adams at (606) 666-7591 Ext. 7809.


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