To commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, Wild Iris Family Counseling and Crisis Center has planned several events in the community to honor victims and survivors of sexual assault.
“Sexual assault Awareness Month has been an annual tradition for many years and is a nationwide campaign,” said Susi Bains, Director of Programs for Wild Iris. “By holding events and conducting an awareness campaign for an entire month, we hope to convey the importance of this issue.”
According to national statistics, one in four women and one in six men will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime. In 2013, Wild Iris served 84 victims of sexual assault, providing services ranging from peer counseling to legal and medical advocacy. This is up from 45 victims of sexual assault in 2012, and 12 victims of sexual assault in 2011.
Wild Iris Crisis Counselor Shelby Cook attributed the growth in numbers to the awareness that Wild Iris has raised within the community, “enabling people to come forward and share those stories,” she said.
This April, Wild Iris will host the Clothesline Project in locations throughout Mammoth Lakes and Bishop. T-shirts hung on the clothesline are designed by survivors of violence or by those close to them and are a reminder to the community that sexual assault happens here in Inyo and Mono Counties. The Project also helps survivors in their healing process, giving them a way to tell their story of abuse and recognize that they are not alone.
The Clothesline Project will be displayed for the public to view on April 12, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Bishop City Park. It will also be displayed for students at Mammoth High School on April 30 and Bishop Union High School on April 28.