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WMBD: Central Ill. Unites for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

PEORIA, Ill – April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and today the Peoria community is coming together to help show support for those affected.

Jaclyn Clark is a junior at Bradley University, and she is one of many students involved in Greek life that’s teaming up with University Police to help raise money and bring awareness to sexual assault prevention.

One of their initiatives has fraternities and sororities displaying teal ribbons on their houses.

“I think that makes a huge statement to the community, the Peoria community and the Bradley community that everybody was really involved in the initiative and that there still up there and hanging up all month,” said Clark.

Bradley University is donating the funds to the Center for Prevention of Abuse and believes in their mission, that all people should live free from violence and abuse. The center hosted their third annual awareness walk this afternoon. Leaders say it was heartwarming to know they are gaining more support from the community.

“This year the theme is engaging new voices, and we are thrilled to have with us members from the armed services, members from the college community as well as a survivors,” said Julie Boland, of CFPA

Leaders say that every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted and people may not realize how prevalent sexual assault is in the area.

“We see children being sexually abused by people they know, we see teenagers, adults and even elderly people being abused by family members or if they happen to be in a long term care facility, so it really spans the life span,” Boland said.

The Bradley Police Department who participated in the awareness walk, are donning a new patch this month to honor those affected.

Bradley Crime Prevention Officer Shane Young said, “We wear it on our sleeve and everyone can identify the patch and see it clearly. I think it was well designed”.

For those students at Bradley, they hope the tradition of teal ribbons will continue after they graduate.

“Just to think, in ten years coming back and seeing teal ribbons on the doors during the month of April, just to help start the initiative with the Greek community and the Bradley police department will mean so much,” Clark added.

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