Every 68 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Every 10 seconds a report of child abuse is made in the United States.
In 2022, 67% of the survivors Mosaic Georgia served were under the age of 18. That’s over 2000 Gwinnett children who were sexually abused! Even just 1 child victim is one too many. And during that time, we served an addition 1000 survivors of sexual abuse ranging from ages 18-90 years old. Sexual abuse and child abuse are very serious crimes against innocent members of our community, but you can help us do something about it.
All this month we are shining a spotlight on these very serious, difficult-to-talk-about problems of sexual and child abuse and how we can work together to prevent it as well as offer a healing space and safe place for survivors to speak up and have their stories heard. The destructive ripple effect set off by child abuse and sexual assault shatters many different areas of the lives of survivors and their families and can create a lifetime of obstacles for them to overcome. The effects are far-reaching, impacting other areas of our communities like education, income equality, criminal justice, health and lifespan, among others. Even if you’ve never directly been affected by sexual or child abuse, you’ve likely known of or experienced some of the effects that show up in our shared community without realizing it.
So how can you be a part of Mosaic Georgia’s efforts to prevent these problems and help survivors heal?
Learn More and Help Raise Awareness
The more you know, the better armed you can be to fight the problems of sexual and child abuse.
Start by signing up for our email updates and monthly newsletter, Tesserae, to receive useful information and other ways that you can make a difference. Also, follow Mosaic Georgia on social media on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on important news and events. Finally, you can check our calendar to find local events here in Gwinnett County and get involved.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s (NSVRC) theme for this year is Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity. Here you will find resources, articles and other materials that illustrate how the issue of equity is ever present and interwoven into every aspect of our communities, including sexual violence and abuse. Some populations, particularly those that are marginalized, face exposure to higher rates of abuse. For example, some groups face more barriers in getting help from organizations like Mosaic Georgia due to lack of transportation, language barriers, and cultural stigmas. And others face discrimination or a lack of knowledge in those they go to for help like counselors, educators and doctors who are unwilling or don’t know how to address abuse within complex gender and sexual identities in the LGBTQ community or other cultural groups.
Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA) also has a theme this year, Building Together: Prevention in Partnership, that focuses on all of us working together to prevent and heal abuse. Here you can find more resources and ways to build a stronger community to protect the most vulnerable among us: Our children. Even if you’re not a parent, you can find resources at PCAA to help families and prevent abuse and neglect by advocating for family-friendly policies and resources for children at your local, state and national level.
Mosaic Georgia is planting Pinwheel Gardens in various childcare centers throughout Gwinnett County during the month of April. This national campaign, Pinwheels for Prevention, was started 15 years ago to raise awareness of child abuse and prevention. These fun, shiny blue pinwheels are a symbol to remind us that all children deserve a bright future and that we each play a role in creating safer communities for them. If you see one of our bright, colorful pinwheel gardens around town, snap a photo, share it on your social media and tag Mosaic Georgia to help spread the word.
You can also help us raise money to combat child and sexual abuse by planting your very own pinwheel in our Virtual Mosaic Pinwheel Garden! Our goal is to plant 100 pinwheels in our garden by the end of April and you can be a part of it.
In addition to our Pinwheels for Prevention Gardens, our dedicated Outreach Team has several other events planned throughout April to help illuminate the issues of sexual and child abuse.
The Clothesline Project
April 14-27, 2023
The Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center (GJAC)
April 1-27, 2023
Georgia Gwinnett College Student Center Lounge
The Clothesline Project will be displayed at The Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center April 14 – 27 and at the Georgia Gwinnett College Student Center Lounge April 1 – 27, and features t-shirts with short messages created by survivors of sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic violence. Various colors represent the different forms of abuse and are hung along the clothesline to honor the victims themselves and others affected by abuse. The array of t-shirts on the clothesline brings a visual awareness to the issue and educates the community about what goes on in their own neighborhoods. This project originally started in 1990 in Cape Cod to highlight interpersonal violence.
What Were You Wearing
April 1–19, 2023
Georgia Gwinnett College Library
This powerful art display depicts the clothing survivors were wearing when they were assaulted and helps to dispel a victim-blaming myth that certain types of clothing somehow invite a sexual assault. Mosaic Georgia’s What Were You Wearing exhibit will be in the Georgia Gwinnett College library from April 1st–19th. A poem by survivor Mary Simmerling inspired the first exhibition at the University of Arkansas in 2014.
April 26, 2023
Day of Action
The Mosaic Georgia team alongside Georgia Gwinnett College will be wearing jeans in solidarity with survivors on this April 26th day of action to combat victim blaming and educate others about sexual violence. It stems from a case in Italy in 1998 when an imprisoned rapist’s conviction was overturned on an appeal that stated the sex was consensual because the young woman was wearing tight jeans that could have only been taken off with her help. Italian women showed up to work the next day in jeans to protest the unjust decision. This day of awareness occurs on the last Wednesday of Sexual Assault Awareness month each April.