Philadelphia – October 20, 2017 – Pennsylvania Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione partnered with Rep. Jason Dawkins and the Philadelphia-based Women Organized Against Rape on Thursday evening to facilitate a vital and timely discussion about sexual violence prevention.
About 40 women and men, including numerous sexual violence survivors, joined the legislators at the Wissinoming Park recreation center for “Conversations That Matter,” an informative presentation by WOAR Education Specialist LaQuisha Anthony. Every two minutes in the United States, someone is sexually assaulted, Anthony said. In an effort to shed light on this disturbing trend, Tartaglione recently co-sponsored a Senate resolution designating October 2017 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.
“The first step in stopping sexual violence is recognizing and acknowledging the true prevalence of the problem,” Tartaglione said. “Then we must educate everyone – women, men, parents, children and young adults – about the resources available to them through victim advocacy organizations like Women Organized Against Rape.”
Dawkins urged attendees to continue their discussion of sexual violence prevention beyond the scope of Thursday night’s dialogue.
“October is awareness month but it has to be a topic 12 months, 365 days a year,” Dawkins said. “I think this is the start of a very powerful discussion and hope you all go out and share what you heard tonight.”
WOAR, a nonprofit organization serving all of Philadelphia, offers a crisis response hotline around the clock seven days a week that sexual violence victims can use to speak with a live WOAR staff member or specially trained volunteer. The phone number is 215-985-3333. WOAR offers crisis counseling and referrals, serving clients that have ranged in age from 2 to 84.
WOAR also offers in-school educational programs for pre-kindergarten classes through fifth grade, along with workshops and training sessions for
workplaces, parents groups, college and university settings and psychological support groups.
In addition, WOAR partners with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape to operate a rape crisis center at 300 E. Hunting Park Ave. where victims can receive specialized medical treatment including a forensic examination in a private and caring setting.
More recently, WOAR has worked to establish and grow its Safe Bars Philly program which trains bar managers and staff to identify inappropriate behaviors in the bar, safely intervene when warranted and promote a culture of respect, safety and support for all.
For information about all WOAR programs, call 215-985-3315 or visit www.woar.org.