As this new year quickly unfolds, the month of April brings into focus a form of violence that continues to rip apart the lives of children, individuals, and families across the world: sexual assault. Many people find this topic uncomfortable to talk about, but it is within this silence that allows this pervasive issue to continue wreaking havoc in our homes and communities. Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) provides an opportunity to educate our communities on this epidemic and invite them to play an active role in the ongoing prevention efforts to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe.
To start, it is important to align on a collective definition of sexual violence. Overall, sexual violence is defined as any sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the victim. This includes, but is not limited to, rape and attempted rape, unwanted touching or fondling, sexual exploitation, and forcing someone to perform or engage in sexual acts. Most often, these crimes are committed by someone known to the victim (a friend, partner, family member, neighbor, acquaintance, etc.), with only 7% committed by strangers.
Just how pervasive is this issue? According to RAINN, an American is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds. That equates to over 430,000 American children and adults experiencing this victimization every year. It is important to note that sexual assault remains the most underreported of all violent crimes. Therefore, it is likely that the actual number of victims each year is much higher. These statistics are overwhelming and enraging, leaving us with questions.
Who is this happening to?
Sexual violence is boundless and does not discriminate. It occurs in every community and affects all ages, genders, and races. It happens across all socioeconomic backgrounds and cultures. Women and girls are disproportionately affected; however, it is important to acknowledge that men and boys are even less likely to report they have been victimized, primarily due to social stigmas and self-blame. Additionally, women and girls of color experience sexual violence at even higher rates.
How is this happening at such alarming rates?
Unfortunately, social norms and attitudes are the primary reasons this remains such a widespread, ongoing problem. Social norms that condone violence, objectify women and children, safeguard systems of racial and gender inequity, and perpetuate an environment of silence around these forms of abuse and violence contribute to its prevalence. Victim-blaming attitudes further exacerbate these crimes, resulting in victims feeling responsible for what has happened to them and further retreating from seeking help.
What can we do about it?
Stop placing blame on victims. Victims are never to blame and are not responsible for these crimes; perpetrators of sexual violence choose to violate others. Victims should be believed and supported.
Hold abusers and rapists accountable. When perpetrators aren’t held accountable, these crimes are perpetuated, ultimately resulting in victims feeling unheard, unsupported, and unvalued, and communities and families feeling unsafe.
Join us and advocate for change. Educate yourself, your family, and your community. Challenge social norms and attitudes that perpetuate sexual violence. Hold your communities accountable.
What does WCYFS do?
It is our goal to not only help individuals and families heal from this tragic violence, but also to educate the individuals and families in our community to prevent this type of violence from happening in the future.
If you are a survivor of sexual violence, please know that you are not alone; we are here to help. We provide free and confidential crisis and supportive services for individuals and families affected by sexual violence. You can always contact us for information and support on our Sexual Assault 24-Hour Helpline at (209) 465-4997.
If you want to learn more about sexual violence and how to prevent it in our families and communities, please contact us for more information: or (209) 941-2611.
The Healthy Relationships Group (HRG) is a fun, interactive educational program designed for school-aged youth (12 – 20 years of age). HRG focuses on helping youth navigate complicated social issues, such as:
- Personal Relationships
- Peer and Dating Violence
- Substance Use
- Other High-Risk Behaviors
HRG operates from the view of the “youth’s voice,” emphasizing the importance of non-controlling, healthy communication practices with peers, friends, and dating partners. The highly interactive sessions provide an opportunity for youth to practice how to respond to difficult social situations they encounter every day.
This 14-week program consists of fourteen 1-hour sessions featuring skill-based activities that assist youth in making responsible choices and reducing harmful behaviors.
To register for this group, or if you would like more information:
Call or Text at 209.684.1458
Email us at
Spread the word! Download the HRG Flyer
Share it with family, friends and co-workers to help us reach the youth that can benefit from it.
YOU are not alone. We are here to help.
Speak with someone today! Call our Youth 24-Hour Helpline at (209) 948-1911.
As part of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month we bring you our Healthy Relationship Coloring Activity!
Show us your masterpiece! Post a picture on Fecebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and/or TikTok of your finish work, tag us @WCYFS and use the hashtags #WCYFS #HealthyRelationship #ColoringActivity. You can also send your pictures to to be featured on our social media pages!
Download and start your masterpiece! PDF | JPEG
Need help? Call our Human Trafficking 24-Hour Helpline at (209) 948-1911
January is declared as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. It has been a time to raise awareness and take action to combat Human Trafficking. Human Trafficking is defined, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, as the modern-day slavery where traffickers and recruiters target vulnerable populations using force, fraud or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against their will.
Human Trafficking affects every community in the United States across age, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgrounds. Migrant workers, at-risk, runaway and homeless youth, LBGTQA+ community, oppressed social or cultural groups, internally displaced persons or refugees affected by natural disaster or conflict, victims of physical and sexual abuse, and women, men and children living in poverty are all at higher risk of being exploited.
In order to combat and end human trafficking it will take all of us, as a community, to pull together to ensure no individual is subjected to this victimization.
YOU can take action in one or more ways to help end human trafficking!
Make a Difference Today!
Stay informed and get resources! Invite us to speak to you, your business or organization to learn more about our services and each victimization that affects all of us. Contact us at (209) 941-2611.
SPREAD THE WORD
Spread the word about our services to your family, friends, co-workers, school or church.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for daily news and resources. Share our posts to help spread the word even further! Remember to Tag us @WCYFS and use the hashtag #WCYFS.
Together we give. Together we make a difference.
GivingTuesday is December 1, 2020
GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.
GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Learn more about #GivingTuesday.
Join and give on #GivingTuesday!
Did You Know?
$50 provides one week of shelter away from domestic abuse, rape, and exploitation. That is 7 days of the basic necessities to begin a new life free of violence.
Give every Tuesday of the month to make a larger impact!
Click the button below to GIVE Today!
Download and print out “I Support @WCYFS for #GivingTuesday” Sign
Take a photo with your sign!
Share with us on social media your photo and message why you gave OR email it to us at so we can share it on our social media page(s).
Remember to tag us @WCYFS and use the hashtags #IGive #ISupport #WCYFS #GivingTuesday