PLEDGE 4 Ithaca Launches Fight Against Sexual Assault
ITHACA NY – A new community campaign, PLEDGE (Protect, Listen, Educate, Defend, Guide and Empower) 4 Ithaca, was recently founded in an effort to help end sexual assault and rape in local secondary schools. Although efforts to stop sexual violence have been implemented at the college level, similar programs haven’t been created for students in elementary, middle and high schools or their families. While our coalition takes pride in our community, this is something that Ithaca is not immune to. The creation of PLEDGE 4 Ithaca has been developed for more than a year with the support of many community leaders who have a passion to end this violence against our children.
Raising local, regional and national awareness about rape and sexual violence in secondary schools will build a sphere of understanding and compassion. By getting communities, parents, educators and other stakeholders to get involved, this will not only spread the message, but will also help to positively impact the campaign’s mission. Raising awareness will help provide our community with state and federal funding that we need to support education in secondary schools, health facilities, advocacy centers and the criminal justice system.
Research shows that 44% of sexual assault victims are under the age of 18, and 15% are under age 12. This is an issue that is currently happening within our community, not only to college students, but also to K-12 students, who are not being taught in schools how to recognize sexual assault, support prevention, where to turn for victim support, and how to handle rape it if it does happen to them or to a peer. The PLEDGE 4 Ithaca campaign is a critically important initiative to bring light to the under-recognized problem of sexual violence in our elementary, middle and high schools. PLEDGE 4 has identified and hopes to support community resources that will protect children from sexual assault and rape. However, we need the support of the Ithaca community.
PLEDGE 4 Ithaca will create an effective strategy to combat this issue and help other communities implement the same practices. PLEDGE 4 Ithaca can easily be adapted for any community, Ithaca has the opportunity to be at the forefront of change and to create systems for success for other communities to adopt. The organization has created a website to take the pledge (pledge4ithaca.org), social media channels, and a video provided by Ithaca College’s Park Productions. There has also been engagement from the community to create a potential viral campaign to build awareness with peers, called “I Take the Pledge, Pass it on”.
This is a call to action for residents to take the pledge and stand with PLEDGE 4 Ithaca against sexual assault and rape and to raise awareness in our schools.
Will you take the pledge? For more information on the mission of PLEDGE 4, please contact Laurie Linn at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Pledge4Ithaca.org.