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Clothesline Project

EVE Inc. marks Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Photo provided In observance of Sexual Assault Awareness month, EVE Inc. displayed a clothesline project at Peoples Bank in Marietta which showcases shirts designed by survivors to tell their story.

“Embrace your voice.” Victims of sexual assault are encouraged to speak up about their experiences, especially in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness month.

EVE Inc. is a nonprofit in Marietta which provides aid to victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

Its sexual assault prevention coordinator, Lashley Mosor, shared some information about the issue, warning signs to look for and ways the community can help.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is nationwide and this year’s theme is “embrace your voice.” Mosor hopes this will give people the courage to tell their story and to share their experiences as a means of healing.

“I think a lot of people have been speaking up. I think a lot of people are getting the courage maybe because it’s being talked about more and the stigma is being lifted,” she said. “That’s my hope, that people can talk about that just like any other crime against them. When it comes to sexual assault, it’s so personal and I just hope that people can embrace their voice, stand up for themselves and get help.”

Another take on the “embrace your voice” campaign is to take advantage of an opportunity to speak up and take action if a situation seems suspicious, Mosor said.

“If a guy sees something that doesn’t seem right (it means) using their voice, calling out that person and being an ally. The thing with sexual assault or abuse is the person is usually someone you know, oftentimes it’s is a trusted family member or friend. You have to be proactive for kids,” she said.

A way of being aware of potential threats is to eliminate the one-on-one to prevent the possibility of assault happening.

“What we know about sexual perpetrators is they groom first. They’ve led up to that and they’ve gained your trust (or) the family’s trust and they start doing the little things,” Mosor said. “If you kid is at a sleepover, make cupcakes and drop them off unannounced, letting the parent know that this mom may come at any time.”

With stay-at-home orders, social distancing and remote learning during the past year, people, especially kids, are on the internet more than ever.

Because the internet can be a source of abuse, Mosor said it’s important to monitor all websites and apps kids use.

“Some kids that never had a means to use (the internet), since the pandemic hit, they’ve all been given iPads and Chromebooks,” Mosor said. “Sometimes there’s ways to hide things on the phone and you may not be aware of what apps your child may be using. It’s important to check it regularly and in (let) a child know who they’re talking to may not be the person they say they are.”

EVE Inc. has seen an increase in calls and Mosor said most of those calls are victims of sexual assault or abuse.

Eleven children are housed in the shelter at the present time and donations are needed to accommodate them.

Mosor said the best way for the community to help is to send monetary donations or gift cards. Everyday household items such as laundry detergent or cleaning products are always needed as clients are transitioned into more permanent housing.

To drop off donations, contact EVE Inc. at (740) 374-5820. Monetary donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 122, Marietta OH 45750.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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