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Women’s Center ribbon display promotes sexual assault awareness and prevention

Local law enforcement assisted the Women’s Center with tying the ribbons around trees and light posts through the county.
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 3:34 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - If you walk or drive through Marquette County, you may see a display in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

On April 1, the Women’s Center and local law enforcement tied teal ribbons around trees and light posts in Marquette, Negaunee, and Ishpeming. Sexual assault advocate Madison Meehling says the ribbons are a symbol of sexual assault awareness and prevention.

“Our main goal today is to show our community that we support them,” said Meehling. “We asked law enforcement and the Prosecutor’s Office to come out here and show their support as well since they work so closely with our victims and survivors.”

Meehling says the display is also intended to reduce the stigma around talking about assault.

“A lot of survivors feel like they’re not able to come out and tell their voices,” she said. “We’re hoping that this shows our community—even people who come forward and talked to us—that we’re here for you and we hear you.”

Heather Clark, Sexual Assault Response Team coordinator, says the Women’s Center is a safe place for any victim of sexual assault.

“Not only does sexual assault affect women, it affects men, it affects children, it affects people in the LGBTQ community,” said Clark. “Even though we’re the Women’s Center, we do help everybody.”

Both the Women’s Center and law enforcement hope the display gives survivors a sense of hope and reminds them help is available.

“There’s power in numbers,” said Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt. “If you see these ribbons, it gives you a little more power behind it to report and not allow people to take advantage of you.”

The Women’s Center plans to host more activities throughout April in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Visit the Women’s Center on Facebook for more information.

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