Middle Way House Recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month

(BLOOMINGTON) – This April Middle Way House invites the community to engage and collaborate with them as part of its annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign.

This year’s theme, “I Ask” will champion the power of asking – whether it be asking to hold someone’s hand, for permission to share personal information with others, or if a partner is interested in sex. It will also highlight the importance of listening to and accepting the answer without pressuring someone to change their mind.
Throughout SAAM, Middle Way House’s Crisis Intervention Services team will bring the theme of “I Ask” to life by hosting a variety of free community education events and activities. The goal is to create awareness of the agency’s broad range of supportive and empowering services for all people affected by relationship and sexual violence as well as to engage individual community members to explore the integration of consent within their own lives and the complexities of accountability and support for people who have caused harm.
They invite the community to join them for the following free events:

  • Little 500 De-Stress Space on Friday, April 12 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at People’s Park. While Little 500 is a fun event for most people, it can be a difficult time for some students. Stop by for snacks and stay for activities and resources to help de-stress and recharge.
  • Consent 201: Diverse Topics in Consent will be held Thursday, April 18, from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Banneker Center (930 W. 7th St.) A free and diverse community education workshop featuring a broad selection of breakout sessions to help you integrate and explore consent within your own life.
  • Consent 301: Accountability Workshop, on Thursday, April 25, from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Banneker Center (930 W. 7th St.) Through facilitated discussion, skills-building activities, and resources this workshop will demystify interpersonal harm by helping build tools for accountability and support for people who have caused harm.

“While sexual violence affects survivors and those closest to them, it also affects entire communities. Because of this, I am pleased with the variety of options we are able to offer the community to help explore consent and accountability,” said Debra Morrow, Executive Director of Middle Way House. “Opportunities to engage the community strongly align with our mission to support all survivors and to educate the community through outreach and prevention programs,” said Morrow.
For more information about any of these or other community education and awareness events, visit www.MiddleWayHouse.org and click on ‘Events’ or contact the Crisis Intervention Services team by phone (812.333.7404) or email (cisc@middlewayhouse.org).
For Middle Way House’s free and confidential 24/7 help and crisis line, please call 812-336-0846.
About Middle Way House:
Since 1971, Middle Way House has been providing services to people in crisis. Today, Middle Way House provides emergency shelter; a 24-hour crisis line; on-scene advocacy; support services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking; transitional and permanent housing solutions for survivors; legal advocacy; and education and prevention programs. Middle Way House serves six counties in southern Indiana, relying on a staff of 70 and a volunteer force of 300+ to provide an around-the-clock response to abuse and assault. For more information, please visit: www.MiddleWayHouse.org
Middle Way House offers:
A 24-hour Crisis Line: (812) 336-0846. The Crisis Line offers immediate intervention and support by trained peers and advocates. Help is available in multiple languages, as well as TDD, for the hearing impaired. These services are free and confidential.
Emergency Shelter: for people fleeing violence at home. Our 30-bed shelter is a safe place for families until they are able to find an appropriate, affordable place to live. At the shelter, residents contribute to the upkeep of their own and group spaces, often share evening meals, and take advantage of programs designed to help them move on with their lives.
Transitional Housing: helps low-income individuals who are recovering from the impacts of domestic violence to secure permanent, safe and affordable housing; achieve economic security; and develop their capacities for self-determination. The RISE! opened in 1998, and currently provides affordable housing for 28 families who have experienced life-threatening violence, poverty, and homelessness. Free programming at The RISE! focuses on giving the formerly dis-empowered the knowledge, skills, and confidence to take the power that is rightfully theirs to determine their own future.
Healthy Relationships & Violence Prevention Education: Middle Way House has created an interactive curriculum designed to prevent interpersonal dating violence as well as domestic and sexual violence. Specially trained educators tailor presentations to fit the specific needs of each audience. This program is offered to area middle schools, high schools, and youth-serving organizations. Adult versions of the program are available, including sessions for developmentally disabled adults and the LGBTQIA+ community. Our objective is for participants to leave with the shared goal of preventing violence in the future and in possession of the skills to do just that.
Legal Advocacy: The legal advocacy team is coordinated by an attorney and two paralegals. Legal advocates are available weekdays from 8 AM – 6 PM to assist people with questions relating to legal remedies for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, trafficking and harassment. Advocates assist clients in filling out divorce petitions, motions to assist, and protective orders; discuss custody and visitation options, making referrals to pro bono and reduced fee programs, private attorneys, therapists and other resources; assist clients eligible for victims’ compensation in pursuing relief; and accompany victims to court hearings and case-related appointments to provide emotional support. The legal advocacy office coordinates services with the Protective Order Project at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, which provides assistance with volunteer attorney back-up for persons seeking protective orders, and the Protective Order Assistance Partnership (POAP), located within the Monroe County Clerk’s Office, for victims who are self-petitioning for orders of protection.
Sexual Assault Support Services: Middle Way House provides services for survivors of sexual assault, which includes any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.
Human Trafficking Support Services: The U.S. Department of State estimates over 27 million people across the globe are currently trapped in a form of modern day slavery and the United States has been identified as a significant hub for both labor and sex trafficking. Middle Way House has provided support services for many survivors of human trafficking, which is defined as a commercial sex act induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age. We provide shelter and resources for survivors.
For more information, please visit www.MiddleWayHouse.org.
About the Sexual Assault Awareness Month Campaign:
Launched in April 2001 by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), Sexual Assault Awareness Month is an annual awareness and prevention campaign observed in April and is coordinated each year with assistance from anti-sexual assault organizations throughout the United States. For more information on this year’s national campaign, visit www.nsrvc.org/saam.