Join Steps to Hope for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Published 1:29 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2024

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COLUMBUS— April marks budding blooms and warming weather but also its role in raising awareness about an issue that affects millions worldwide: sexual assault. This April, as we come together to shed light on this crucial issue, it’s essential to recognize the staggering statistics that highlight sexual violence in our communities.

According to recent data, over half of women and almost one in three men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes. These numbers, while alarming, only begin to scratch the surface of the impact sexual assault has on individuals, families, and entire communities.

In response to these statistics, Steps to Hope continues to proactively raise awareness and support survivors. One of the key initiatives involves distributing coffee sleeves at local coffee shops. OpenRoad Coffee Roastery in Columbus, the Tryon Coffeehouse and All Good Things Bakery in Tryon, Buck’N Brew in Campobello and Wildflour Bakery in Saluda have agreed to participate again this year.  Coffees ordered throughout the month of April will adorn sleeves that display Steps to Hope’s contact information and this powerful message: “Our voices have power. Together, we can build safe and respectful communities.” It is hoped that these tangible reminders will encourage every individual to speak out against sexual violence and contribute to the creation of safer spaces for all.

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Additionally, Steps to Hope is continuing the annual display of The Clothesline Project, a powerful visual presentation that bears witness to the stories of survivors. This impactful exhibit will be showcased at various locations, including the front lawn of Steps to Hope, Steps to Hope Thrift Barn in Landrum, Stearns Park in Columbus, and downtown Saluda and Tryon. By bringing these displays into public spaces, Steps to Hope aims to spark conversations, challenge stigmas, and provide a platform for survivors to be heard and supported.

As we observe Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April, let us all commit to standing in solidarity with survivors, challenging harmful attitudes and behaviors, and working together to create a community free from sexual violence. 

Steps to Hope is the domestic violence and sexual assault center located in Columbus serving Polk County, NC and Upstate SC. To learn more about the agency and its services, please visit


Submitted by Jessica Cashwell