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SOS Offers April Events Focused on Building Connected Communities


SOS is inviting the community to a full calendar of events in April for Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The organization has chosen the theme Building Connected Communities to highlight the role that community and positive connections have in encouraging protective factors and building safer communities to prevent and protect against child abuse and sexual violence.

 

The month of events will kick off at 5:00 pm during First Friday Art Walk where community members can join SOS to create chalk art in front of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.  Then on Tuesday, April 9 the organization will host Take Back the Night at 5:30 pm at C of E park, which is located just north of the SOS building. 2022 Miss Kansas Ayanna Schumacher will speak at 6:00 pm at Flint Hills Technical College. Schumacher often speaks on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the importance of mentorship in the lives of young people. At this event Schumacher will reflect on her own childhood experiences, challenge the way we define ourselves, and discuss the importance of mental health services in higher education. Finally, SOS will round out the month by partnering with Merchant Cycles for a community group ride to bring families and cyclists of all abilities together for a fun ride.

 

Child Abuse Prevention Month focuses on the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and it recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. According to the Kansas Children’s Service League, Child Abuse Prevention Month is a time to “elevate the importance of creating systems and programs that put children and families first.” The first Sexual Assault Awareness Month was first recognized nationally in 2001, but the month had been observed long before that in locations across the U.S. The first Take Back the Night event was held in the 1970s. Sexual Assault Awareness Month has always promoted awareness and prevention, but in recent years has focused more on the role that all people have in preventing sexual violence.

 

2022 Miss Kansas Ayanna Schumacher has traveled the state and nation sharing her story with youth and challenging them to find their “why.” Her presentation in Emporia is free and open to the public, and it will focus on the positive impact of mental health support in higher education and encourage the audience to take a look at their perception of themselves.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about one in seven children experienced child abuse and neglect last year. The CDC also reports that over half of women and one in three men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact in their lifetime. SOS provides services to those who have experienced sexual violence and child abuse in Chase, Coffey, Lyon, Morris, and Osage counties through its four programs: SOS Outreach and Crisis Services, SOS CASA of the Flint Hills, SOS Child Advocacy Center, and SOS Child Visitation and Exchange Center.

 

To report abuse or neglect of an adult or child, contact the Kansas Protection Report Center by calling 1-800-922-5330. In an emergency, contact local law enforcement or 911.

 

SOS provides free and confidential services to those affected by sexual and domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, child abuse and neglect. Free and confidential help is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-825-1295 or by texting SOSKS to 847411.



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