It’s Time to Have The Conversation
April 18, 2023
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, which is an important time for non-profits and advocacy groups to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect. The statistics on child abuse are overwhelming. One in four girls — and one in six boys — will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Most victims suffer in silence. It is estimated that more than 90 percent of abuse victims never report what happened to them. Even more alarming is that more than 90 percent of perpetrators are someone that an abused child knows and trusts – a coach, camp counselor, teacher, someone in their faith community, or a family member. This is a public health crisis our communities must face.
April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month, in which 1 in 6 women and 1 in 26 men will experience a sexual assault in adulthood. Young men in college face a risk of sexual assault five times higher than the national average. This month is a rallying cry across the state and nation to urge our community to come together to make a difference.
So, for these two important awareness initiatives, Children’s Cove, Independence House, a Safe Place Nantucket and CONNECT to End Violence have partnered in an effort to create a joint public awareness poster campaign titled “It’s Time to Have the Conversation.” With this first collaborative campaign, for the first time in our organizations’ histories, we are united to bring the issues of exploitation, assault and abuse of adults and children to the forefront of our community conversations. We need to engage our community at a broader level to truly impact the future. The poster features bold colors to catch attention, Cape & Island imagery, concise language, and a QR code and website URL where anyone can learn about the services our agencies provide on the Cape and Islands. The website includes direct access to emergency hotlines to help survivors of abuse gain access to supportive services.
We believe we can create communities where everyone lives free from abuse, has a voice that is heard, and can enjoy healthy, safe, and empowered lives. And we need your help to do it.”
As part of the campaign, we are partnering with local area Chambers of Commerce to encourage local businesses to share these posters in spaces such as bathrooms or other communal areas where victims of abuse may see them and learn about help available to them. Each of our organizations will also be distributing posters across our community to raise awareness, and work together on a matching social media campaign.
Our message has been missing in locations that people frequent. It is missing in restaurants and bars. It is missing in recreational centers and activities. It is missing in hotels and resorts. We are missing in the places most people work, or shop, or get their lunch. For too long, our visibility has been missing from most people’s lives. For too long, sexual and domestic violence has remained a taboo subject hidden in the shadows, which increases the likelihood of the victimization, and minimizes the chances someone will receive support.
As a community, we cannot afford to do that anymore.
Sexual assault, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation happens here. It happens in every town on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. These issues impact people of all ages, genders, cultural backgrounds, and socioeconomic status.
“It’s Time to Have the Conversation.” It’s time to bring these issues to light.
We believe we can create communities where everyone lives free from abuse, has a voice that is heard, and can enjoy healthy, safe, and empowered lives. And we need your help to do it.
If you would like to support the mission to raise awareness about these issues, please reach out to the representative from the organization that serves your area:
Jacob Stapledon, Children’s Cove, Jacob.Stapledon@childrenscove.org
Chris Morin, Independence House, ChrisM@indhouse.net
Morgan Beausoleil, CONNECT to End Violence, MBeausoleil@mvcommunityservices.org
Rachel Devine, A Safe Place Nantucket, email@example.com
A special thank you to each member of this committee in their incredible work on this project. And an additional special thanks to the team at Pierce-Coté Advertising for turning the concept of our vision into reality.