Orange County, raking third highest in sexual assault cases in the state of California, has a serious problem that Clothesline Project supervisor Dawn Foor raises awareness to at Saddleback College.
Earlier in the week, the Clothesline Project hung multi-colored T-shirts with messages describing violent abuse suffered by victims of all ages.
These shirts symbolize a liberation from a lifetime of trying to cope with pain inflicted upon them by others.
“The clothesline really is meant for victims to literally air out their dirty laundry. This seems to have strong healing effects on the victims ability to better cope,” Foor said.
Foor, who says she’s been an advocate against sexual abuse for 40 years now is a strong figure within the community service program entitled Sexual Assault Victim Services (SAVS).
In her speech,”Things That Outta Bother You: The New Sexual Assault Prevention” which was presented on April 14, Foor promoted awareness of sexual abuse in Orange County, taking students as well as guests from the community, into the world of sexual abuse.
She gave her audience simple tips to be an advocate in the fight against sexual abuse, explained the work of her crisis hot-line, and told the stories of raped and assaulted individuals.
She did not have to tell stories of violent assaults from distant lands to make her point across because according to Foor, sexual abuse has run rampant right in Orange County.
Foor says that within the state of California, Orange County ranks third for having the most sexual abuse cases.
“According to the Center of Disease Control, in 2006 sexual assault became an epidemic in our nation,” said Foor.
She continued to say, “When something becomes an epidemic, it is up to individuals in every community to pick up the pieces of our society’s problems.”
Foor encourages the volunteer work of young people in this fight to help the sexually abused cope and express themselves openly, as well as fight to prevent further abuse from occurring.
She especially urges young men to help the cause, as she explained that a man’s strongest peer pressure influence is another male.
Though rape and assault victims are not limited to females, Foor says that 99 percent of sexual abuse is a man’s doing. That is why males counseling other males is necessary to progress in this battle.
Allison Greene, 20, animal science said, “It’s sad to realize that there is all this violence and it’s not being openly spoken about.”
In regards to the high number of assaults in Orange County, Greene said, “It’s shocking to hear this bad new since we often think that Orange County is really sheltered and safe.”
With a full-house of guests, Foor spoke about this reality of our community from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
With a quote on the projector from Martin Luther King, Jr. that read “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Foor concluded her advisory.
Visit SAVS website http://sa18.state.fl.us/vicsvcs/savs.html for more information about the fight against abuse.