Officials Hold Ceremony For Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month (SAAPM).  At the Tyler Square this morning, the East Texas Crisis Center handed out SAAPM ribbons and talked to people about sexual assault and safety in our community.  Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith read a proclamation. During the ceremony, he said he thinks society has made progress in taking the shame away from a reporting a sexual crime.

"In just the past few months, our agency has received over 3,600 hotline phone calls for help and we've helped over 380 victims. That's just here in Smith County alone. But this also includes Henderson County now. We've expanded to Van Zandt County, Rains and Wood Counties. So, the organization has done well and we're extremely proud," said Smith.

The East Texas Crisis Center is dedicated to providing safety, shelter, and education for victims of family violence, sexual assault, and other violent crime.  The agency says its commitment is to restore dignity and purpose in the lives of victims and to promote public compassion and awareness in order to reduce violence in our community.

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.