Teal ribbons put up in towns across Fillmore County  are bringing recognition to Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. (Bluff Country Newspaper Group courtesy photo)
Teal ribbons put up in towns across Fillmore County are bringing recognition to Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. (Bluff Country Newspaper Group courtesy photo)
The teal ribbons that are appearing in Fillmore County communities this month have a message. They are to recognize that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).

To honor the victims of sexual violence, Fillmore County Victim Services and Fillmore Family Resources, with the support of area city councils, have put teal ribbons on every one or every other street lamp down community main streets. They hope that their efforts can help change the statistics that show one in three women and one in six men will be victims of sexual assault sometime in their lifetime.

Sexual violence is when sexual behaviors and comments are unwanted, said Sarah Monroe from Fillmore County Victim Services. When sexual behavior is not consensual, is forced or is coerced, it may be a crime, she added. These crimes include sexual assault, date/acquaintance rape, intimate partner sexual violence, alcohol/drug facilitated sexual assault, child sexual abuse, incest, stalking, pornography, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, sexual harassment and bullying.

The goal of SAAM is to help raise awareness about sexual violence and to educate the community. Sexual violence is 100 percent preventable.

"Together, we can change the statistics; one in three of our daughters, sisters or wives and one in six of our sons, brothers or husbands can look to a safer tomorrow. Together, we can take a stand to end sexual violence," said Monroe.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or would like to talk with someone, contact Fillmore County Victim Services at 507-765-2805.