In April Empower Yolo recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and Child Abuse Prevention Month, campaigns to raise awareness about sexual violence, and support survivors.  Sexual violence is sexual activity when consent is not obtained or freely given; it includes any type of unwanted sexual contact including sexual assault, harassment, and abuse. It is a serious public health problem in the United States that profoundly impacts lifelong health, opportunity, and well-being. Sexual violence impacts every community and affects people of all genders, sexual orientations, and ages. See Fast Facts: Preventing Sexual Violence, Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention, June 22, 2022.

This month Empower Yolo highlights prevention, supporting survivors, and building safe communitiesJoin Empower Yolo’s Associate Director, Celina Alveraz for a Parent Empowerment Program (PEP) Talk, a presentation on teaching young children about consent and honoring their own space.  “Sexual Assault Awareness Month Information Night” on Wednesday, April 17 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm via Zoom. This event is sponsored by Student Support Services of the Davis Joint Unified School District.

“Celebrate Sexual Assault Awareness Month with us by joining our special presentation as we delve into important topics related to prevention, supporting survivors, and building safe communities,” says Celina Alveraz, Empower Yolo Associate Director.  

These conversations are extremely important for our community to raise awareness.  Empower Yolo continues to support survivors of sexual violence at a high rate including children. In 2023, 431 survivors of sexual assault and human trafficking (of which 132 were children) received advocacy, accompaniment, and/or support services from Empower Yolo.  These statistics reveal the issues are very real in our community and they affect hundreds of adults and children. 

This month Empower Yolo also supports ValorUS (a national organization committed to advancing equity and ending sexual violence) and ValorCalifornia’s (state sexual assault coalition, a program of ValorUS) SAAM theme of “Collective Voice. Collective Action. Collective Power.” 

These efforts to advocate for funding are critical in preventing and ending sexual violence by advancing equity and eradicating oppression.  We are encouraging the state legislature to stop cuts to victim services and we are advocating for critically needed state funding for crime victim services to backfill the decline in federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding, which will affect Empower Yolo and other nonprofits statewide in providing critical services to survivors. 

Our call to action for the community is to join us in the movement to learn more about the issues, raise awareness, and support survivors.  These are concrete ways you can support Empower Yolo and make an impact: 

1) Tuesday, April 9 is Take Back the Night at UC Davis, an annual event that aims to support survivors of sexual violence, raise awareness, and promote action within our community to end sexual and gender-based violence. Empower Yolo advocates will be doing outreach at the event; 2) Empower Yolo will be hosting its annual “Shower for the Shelter” for clients at our safe house. Donate new needed items during the in-person drop-off event on Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at 441 D Street, Davis, or drop off donations any time during April in Davis or Woodland during office hours; see the list of needs at; 3) Wednesday, April 24 is Denim Day where we ask community members to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence. Post a selfie in denim and tag @empower_yolo #DenimDay2024. There will be a Denim Day Rally at the state capitol on April 24 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more info visit; 4) On Friday, April 26 in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Empower Yolo in partnership with the Yolo County Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC) will host a pinwheel garden at its main office in Woodland to raise awareness and promote child well-being in Yolo County.  Hosting a pinwheel garden is a powerful way to demonstrate the impact of positive connections in a child’s life. Each pinwheel represents the bright and healthy childhood every child deserves; 5) Give to support survivors of abuse and families in need on Big Day of Giving, Thursday, May 2; early giving begins Thursday, April 18 at  Donate to support services for survivors and families in need.  Your donation supports services for sexual assault survivors including safe shelter, counseling, hospital accompaniments and advocacy, support groups (for adults and children), legal services, 24-hour crisis line, and outreach and education efforts. For more information on services, and events, or to donate any time visit

April is also National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 21-27, 2024. The theme this year is — how would you help? Options, services, and hope for crime survivors, is a call to action to create safe environments for crime victims to share what happened to them.  Yolo County Victim Services will begin National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with its annual Crime Victims’ Tribute, which honors Yolo County crime victim-survivors, their families, and those who advocate on their behalf on Tuesday, April 23, from 12 – 12:50 p.m. at the Woodland Opera House. For more info on the event visit

Empower Yolo’s spring peer counselor training has been extended to May.  If you would like to support survivors and make a difference in our community join Empower Yolo’s training; applications are still being accepted until May 3. For more information and to download an application visit

 Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month serve as critical reminders of the ongoing need for prevention efforts, support for survivors, and the creation of safe communities.  By prioritizing prevention through education, intervention, and advocacy, we can create a society where everyone feels safe, valued, and empowered to speak out against abuse and seek support, and where every individual is treated with dignity and respect.  Through collective efforts and a commitment to building safe and supportive communities, we strive to enable everyone to live free from the threat of sexual assault and child abuse. “Together, let’s raise awareness, foster dialogue, and work towards a future free of sexual violence,” says Alveraz.

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