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Community events aim to raise awareness of child abuse, sexual assault

Community members can get involved with a trauma-informed yoga session, parenting classes and a film screening.

The Government Center in Superior. Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com
The Government Center in Superior. Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com
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SUPERIOR — April is both Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. An event recognizing the month’s dual awareness campaigns kicks off at 10 a.m. Friday, April 1 in the Government Center atrium, according to a news release from the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse.

Superior Mayor Jim Paine and Douglas County Board Chairman Mark Liebaert will issue a joint proclamation and highlight local challenges regarding the issues. Participants will also learn more about the collaborative efforts taking place to support area children and survivors, the news release said.

Child abuse prevention

In 2021, the Douglas County Department of Health and Human Services received 1,034 reports of suspected child abuse and neglect, according to the news release. Staff conducted 386 initial assessments, identified 590 child victims and made 190 offers of service to families.

CASDA provided a list of ways people can participate in the awareness campaign. They include the following:

  • Wear blue on Friday and post a selfie on social media with the hashtag #CAPM.
  • Participate in free, virtual Positive Parenting Program seminars hosted by UW-Extension. Both 60-minute classes and 90-minute small group sessions are available, with different sessions for parents of children up to 12 years of age and parents of teens ages 12-16. Spring and summer sessions are available.
  • Let a child in your life know that you believe in and support them.

Sexual assault awareness

In 2021, the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse received 123 calls regarding child abuse or neglect and 221 calls regarding sexual violence, the news release said. Staff members work with children who are exposed to domestic violence in their household, as well.

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Last year, CASDA’s children’s program provided 433 hours of direct services to 53 children and 74 non-offending parents or guardians, according to the news release. The nonprofit organization’s sexual assault program provided 312 hours of direct services to 46 victims and survivors.

CASDA is hosting a number of events throughout the month. They include the following:

  • Wear teal on Tuesday, April 5, and post a selfie on social media with the hashtag #SAAM2022.
  • Yoga with Lisa hosts a public class from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 9 at the Strength Factory, 625 Hughitt Ave. The first 30 minutes will include learning about CASDA and trauma-informed yoga, followed by a yoga session.
  • Educator Jackson Katz will speak about gender, race and violence beginning at 5:30 p.m. April 14 in the Yellowjacket Union Great Room on the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus.
  • “The Hunting Ground,” a film tackling the issue of justice for victims and survivors of sexual assault on college campuses, will be screened at 5 p.m. April 20 in Swenson Hall room 1004 on the UWS campus.
  • Watch for teal and blue flags on the Douglas County Courthouse lawn.
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