Leonard Campanello, Chief of Police
197 Main St.
Gloucester , MA 01930
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Gloucester Police Join Other Police Departments in Promoting Sexual Assault Awareness
GLOUCESTER — During the month of April, the Gloucester Police Department is placing teal ribbons on all cruiser antennae. The ribbons are designed to bring public awareness to the issue of sexual assault. The teal ribbon looks similar to the decals used in Gloucester for the Safe Sites initiative. Additionally, officers will hand out cards from the YWCA North Shore Rape Crisis Center with information on how to seek help for themselves or others in the event of sexual assault, harassment or stalking.
“As a department that believes strongly in community collaboration, we are pleased to have the opportunity to join with community organizations to help increase awareness of sexual assault,” Police Chief Leonard Campanello said. “Gloucester has about 15 cases of reported sexual assault a year, but we know there are many more victims who do not come forward due to fear or stigmatization. We want to encourage victims to speak out, as we support them on their road to heal.”
Diana Mancera, Program Director, for the YWCA North Shore Rape Crisis Center stated, “We are also aware that the YRBS* documents a significant level of unwanted sexual activity among teens. Their 2013 data states that 8 percent of high school students (11 percent female and 6 percent male) report that they have been physically and/or sexually hurt by a dating partner, and 5 percent report that they have been forced to have sex.”
This and other upcoming April initiatives are designed to raise awareness about the issues of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking and are sponsored by the Gloucester Coalition for the Prevention of Domestic Abuse, the YWCA North Shore Rape Crisis Center, and HAWC. These three groups will gather at City Hall on April 30 and be led by Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken on a walk through downtown.
The Gloucester Police Department will be joined in the teal ribbon campaign by the police departments of Peabody, Lynn, Beverly, and Amesbury and possibly others.
The YWCA North Shore Rape Crisis Center is a division of the YWCA of Greater Lawrence. We are a social change organization which exists today for the same reasons it was founded back in 1892: to assure that women have the tools, skills and opportunities needed to become and remain personally and economically self-sufficient. Behind every one of our milestones is a story, a journey and an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of women and their families. The breadth of our offerings is great, with every program and service molded to our mission of helping to foster peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Each year we serve over 15,000 people from our Lawrence, Haverhill, Lynn and Salem, NH locations, where people know they can turn for caring, compassionate and highly skilled support. You may be interested in viewing our website at www.ywcalawrence.org.