St. Francis Center Organizes Events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Mar 20, 2019

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the St. Francis Counseling Services – the designated sexual abuse and assault program for Ocean County – will hold a number of events to bring awareness to its counseling and prevention programing, which is provided at no cost to residents.

On Friday, April 5, St. Francis and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office are teaming up for “Step Up to the Plate Against Sexual Violence” at First Energy Park in Lakewood, where representatives from local resources will offer information about preventing sexual violence. The baseball game tickets are only $10 via this special link: blueclaws.com/stepup. Ater the game there will be fireworks, and kids can run the bases and will have a chance to win a jersey signed by the team. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Jennifer Nadler, a survivor of sexual abuse, will speak at Ocean County College in Toms River at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, April 15. The free talk, organized by St. Francis OCC Counseling Services, will be held in Room 104 of the Gateway Building. Light refreshments will be provided by Student Life. For more information, or to make reservations, contact OCC at 732-255-0386 or counselingservices@ocean.edu.

Then, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17,  St. Francis will join POUNDFIT of Brick to offer a free workout event that “provides the perfect atmosphere for letting loose, getting energized, toning up and rockin’ out!” the community center notes. “The workout is easily modifiable, and the alternative vibe and welcoming philosophy appeals to men and women of all ages and abilities.” This free event will take place at the Brick Pioneer Firehouse.

The following Wednesday, April 24, St. Francis is offering a free night of painting in support of survivors of sexual abuse and assault, with resources on site. The event – with step-by-step instruction by Jude Hadley, who will lead attendees in painting a canvas tote – will be held at The Union Market, at 120 West Main St. in Tuckerton, at 6:30 p.m. Registration is required. Call 609-494-1554 to register or for more information.

Thursday, April 25, meanwhile, is “Denim Day” with the LBI Health Department, which will have representatives at St. Francis Community Center in Brant Beach from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The organization Peace Over Violence began its Denim Day campaign “after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent,” the website denimdayinfo.org explains. “The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim.”

On Denim Day (which is actually April 24), “millions of people across the world will wear jeans with a purpose, support survivors, and educate themselves and others about all forms of sexual violence.”

For more information about any the upcoming events, or about St. Francis Counseling Services, call 609-494-1554 or visit stfranciscenterlbi.org.

These awareness events are partially supported with grant funds provided by the state of New Jersey via the Sexual Assault, Abuse and Rape Care state allocation administered by the Department of Children and Families, Division on Women, and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant funds, also administered by the Department of Children and Families, Division on Women. —J.K.-H.

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