By Ashley Wilson
Special to The PREVIEW
Along with other nonprofits and businesses in our community, Rise Above Violence is experiencing challenges during this community crisis. We are thankful that we are able to continue to serve our community and be available to victims, but we are experiencing a much higher call volume and those cases are more intense. We are asking for the support of our community.
There are many ways you can help:
1) April is Sexual Assault Awareness month. One amazing way you can help Rise is to participate in our now virtual events. During April every year, we have a lineup of events, some to raise funds, other to shed light and bring awareness to our community. We are working hard to be creative in how to bring these events to you in a digital way.
Monday, April 14 — We will open our virtual exhibit of the “What were you wearing?” Gallery. Local artists have paired with us to share powerful stories to dispel the myth that sexual assault has anything to do with what you are wearing.
April 24 — Seventh annual Push Up Challenge. This year’s event will be hosted on Google Hangout Meet. All competitors will sign up at GoFundMe Charity, your platform to raise funds for Rise during this annual campaign. Categories will be limited this year to Individual Female and Individual Male.
April 29 — Denim Day. What is Denim Day? It is a symbolic gesture of solidarity against sexual violence. Participate in our social media event and be entered for a prize. Post a picture in your denim with a caption of why you wear jeans or who you are wearing jeans for. Post a video of you taking a walk in your jeans and get two entries.
Stay up to date and get more information by following us on Facebook or checking out the website riseaboveviolence.org
2) You can also help by sharing all month long and beyond on all your social media accounts. Right now it is more important than ever to ensure that those who are experiencing violence know that there is still help. By keeping Rise in everyone’s news feeds we can send a very clear message to those that see the posts that they are not alone. Rise will respond to every call 24/7. The hotline is 264-9075. Rise also now has video chats that are safe and secure through a telecounseling service. Some ideas for posting: You can share what Rise shares on both Facebook and Instagram. You can show off a selfie in teal; teal is the color of sexual assault awareness month.
3) Volunteer for Rise. If you have time right now to consider volunteering to answer hotline calls, Rise offers volunteer training online. You can contact Rise at 264-9075 or email Jacey, our volunteer coordinator, at email@example.com.
4) If you are in a position to give financially, Rise can still use your support. You can support a push-up challenger, you can give on our website and you can also sign up to be part of our Snowball Club. The Snowball Club is a monthly gift of $10 or more. The $10 supports one crisis call, so by signing up to be a monthly donor you are ensuring support for our 24/7 crisis support line all year long.
Join with Rise in offering a collective voice that says sexual assault is not acceptable in our community. Sexual Assault Awareness Month is intended to draw attention to the fact that sexual violence is widespread and has public health implications for every community member of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County. Forty Victims of sexual assault were served by Rise Above Violence last year, in 2019, but we know there are many more who do not come forward. By participating with Rise in this month’s activities, you are giving voice to victims in our community and making a clear statement that sexual violence will not be accepted in Pagosa.
Rise is a nonprofit organization which promotes the belief that all people have the right to live free from violence. Rise provides 24-hour support and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or other forms of violence, serving over 350 victims each year. Rise also works to eliminate violence through education for youth and our community. All programs and services are free and confidential, including emergency prevention education and empowerment programs. Visit www.riseaboveviolence.org for more information or call 264- 9075 to talk to an advocate today.
Rise Above Violence needs your help during this community crisis
By Ashley Wilson