You may notice blue ribbons on the side of FBI, Kanawha County and Charleston City Police cruisers this month. They read “End Sexual Violence.”
April is Sexual Assault Awareness month. As part of a campaign to reach out to the community, law enforcement agencies in Kanawha County have placed the magnetic ribbons on their vehicles.
Marla Willcox Eddy, the director of the REACH Rape Crisis Program in Kanawha County, says it’s important for the community to know where law enforcement stands when it comes to sexual crimes.
“Law enforcement is working to improve their response, that they are understanding, that sexual violence is a very, very difficult subject to deal with and they are paying attention to the rights and needs of the victim,” says Willcox Eddy.
On average, one in every five females and one in every 76 males will be the victim of sexual abuse during their lifetime. And Willcox Eddy says that’s just the assaults that are reported.
She hopes the decals will help open the lines of communication when it comes to the once taboo subject.
“It’s a symbolic gesture to show support for survivors of sexual violence, while at the same time, telling our community we’re not going to tolerate sexual violence,” says Willcox Eddy.
The agents, deputies and police officers put the magnates on their cars Monday morning during a news conference promoting National Sexual Assault Awareness Month in front of the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse in Charleston.