Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 24, 2018

‘Teal out the Square’ being held next weekend

Apr 06, 2018

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


“Teal out the Square” is returning this year for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“We’re going to do ‘Teal out the Square,’ again,” said Deanna Hansen, rural county services coordinator for Rape Victim Advocacy Program. “We were going to do it this coming Saturday, but it’s too cold, so the paint’s not going to stick so it is getting moved to April 14.”

They paint the windows of businesses around the square with either teal ribbons or sayings.

“We paint the windows with really whatever the businesses want,” Hansen said. “Some places want a Bible quote, some places just want a teal ribbon. Other places are just like kind of ‘do what you want.’”

During the month of April, Hansen said RVAP is in the schools talking about “Safe Dates.”

“We talk about healthy relationships, consent, sexual violence, dating violence, bystander intervention and gender stereotypes,” she said. “It’s a full week where we go in and pretest and we do demographics and we teach all week and then we do a post test to see if they learned anything.”

A survey is also given out to the students asking them if they feel comfortable reaching out to RVAP, Hansen added. Information is also given to the students about how to contact RVAP and how to contact the Domestic Violence Intervention Program since dating violence is spoken about.

There are a number of things that qualify as a sexual assault.

“When people talk about a sexual assault they usually talk about rape or an attempted rape,” Hansen said. “We work with any kind of sexual violence, so that’s unwanted touching, incest, sexual harassment, human trafficking, stalking — whatever it may be we’re going to be working with that person.”

RVAP doesn’t just work with the person it happened to but also what they call the secondary survivors.

“Which would be other people affected by the trauma, so like parents or significant others, friends, family members, whoever needs help we can help them,” Hansen said.

To contact RVAP for assistance, the number is 1-800-228-1625 or you can reach Hansen on her RVAP cellphone number at 319-541-2059.

RVAP is regionalized and serves eight counties, Hansen said. Washington is one of the counties she serves, but there are centers all over Iowa to assist victims of sexual violence.

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