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April is National Sexual Assault Awareness & Child Abuse Prevention Month

April 1 is Wear Blue Day and April 26 is Denim Day in Broward County

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness

[Broward County] – April is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to speak out and support survivors of sexual assault and child abuse. According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, every 68 seconds a person experiences sexual assault in the United States. One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.

Here in Broward, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported 592 rapes in 2020. According to the National Children’s Alliance, nearly 700,000 children are abused in the United States annually.

Nancy J. Cotterman Center

When it comes to sexual assault and child abuse, silence is not an option. The Nancy J. Cotterman Center (NJCC), Broward County’s only Certified Sexual Assault Program, Accredited Children’s Advocacy Center and Child Protection Team provides services in a safe, non-threatening environment for survivors of sexual assault, child abuse and human trafficking and their supportive family members. The professionals at NJCC are specially trained to provide crisis intervention and counseling.  As well as forensic medical exams and clinical child abuse assessments. Services are available to adult and child survivors and non-offending family members at no charge.

NJCC, part of Broward County’s Human Services’ Crisis Intervention & Support Division, provides:
  • Crisis Support and Advocacy: 24/7 crisis services to survivors of sexual violence, human trafficking, child sexual abuse and trauma and family members who have been impacted by these crimes.
  • Child Protection Team: 24/7 services to survivors of child abuse and multi-disciplinary collaboration to ensure child wellbeing and safety.
  • Counseling: Trauma-focused mental health services to survivors of child abuse, sexual violence and human trafficking and their non-offending family members.
  • Medical: 24/7 forensic medical exams for survivors of sexual violence, child abuse and human trafficking and medical consultations.

The Nancy J. Cotterman Center encourages residents to wear blue on Friday, April 1 to raise awareness about child abuse, and wear denim or denim ribbons on Tuesday, April 26, Denim Day in Broward County. “By wearing blue and denim, residents help increase awareness of sexual violence and child abuse and ultimately foster greater understanding and prevention,” said Ana María Ferrer, Human Services Administrator for Nancy J. Cotterman Center. “As a community, we should support sexual assault and child abuse survivors and understand that it’s never their fault. NJCC unconditionally supports survivors and helps them heal.” Last year, the Crisis Unit provided more than 7,500 episodes of service.

The Broward County Commission will present a proclamation at its April 26 meeting recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month and April 26 as Denim Day in Broward.

For more information, contact the Nancy J. Cotterman Center at 954-357-5775 or the 24-Hour Sexual Assault Helpline at 954-761-RAPE (7273).


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The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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