As the executive director of the nonprofit advocacy organization Pueblo Rape Crisis Services, Kirsten Taylor knows the topics of rape and sexual assault often are grim to think about, let alone to discuss. One of every six American women, and one of every 33 American men, have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime, with 9 out of every 10 rape victims being women. MORE: 2 alleged Pueblo gang members charged, tied to murder and drug distribution.
For the past 20 years, PRCS has served as a powerful ally for sexual assault survivors, providing victim advocacy and building community awareness to reduce — and in an ideal world, eliminate — sexual violence. And it was just great to see.
That sends a very clear message to survivors of sexual assault that they are supported. In conjunction with the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual AssaultPRCS will also participate in a global happening on April 28 called Denim Day, which encourages people to wear jeans to raise awareness about sexual assault and rape.
So Denim Day is important. PRCS saw an increase in calls to its hotline inTaylor said, and because its advocates were unable to gain entrance to Parkview during much of the pandemic due to COVID restrictions, its victim advocacy services at the hospital largely had to take place over the phone.
MORE: Pueblo fire chief continues to break barriers, becoming city's deputy mayor. With the grant, PRCS was able to add a text option to its crisis hotline and create a new web chat feature.
A major drawback of the pandemic for the organization, Taylor said, has been an inability to do public outreach or recruit new volunteers. And there are not words in any language to describe how much we rely on and value our volunteers. They are the absolute backbone of our work and we cannot exist without them. To contact the PRCS crisis hotline, dial Those interested in volunteering can find out more on Facebook at facebook.
Chieftain reporter Zach Hillstrom can be reached at zhillstrom gannett.
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