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What are the teal ribbons tied to the lamp posts in Carlisle and Mechanicsburg?

The ribbons were tied to the lamp posts April 1 by YWCA Carlisle’s Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Services as part of its Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The ribbons will be taken down May 1.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month has been held each year since April 2001, when it was launched by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. The annual awareness and prevention campaign is coordinated with assistance from anti-sexual assault organizations throughout the United States.

The color teal is associated with sexual assault awareness. Tying the ribbons to the lamp posts is a sign of support and solidarity.

Attached to the ribbons is a card promoting the “I Ask” theme of the month. The theme sends the message that asking for consent is a healthy, normal and necessary part of everyday interactions, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

“I Ask” champions the power of asking, whether it be asking to hold someone’s hand, for permission to share personal information with others, or if a partner is interested in sex. It also highlights the importance of listening to and accepting the answer without pressuring someone to change their mind, the center wrote in a news release on its website.

Locally, victims of rape or sexual assault can call Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Services of Cumberland County at 258-4324 during office hours at YWCA Carlisle, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Volunteer counselors staff a 24-hour, toll-free hotline at 888-727-2877.

Clients can also receive services at the Victim Services office in Camp Hill.

All sexual assault/rape crisis services are free and confidential.

In addition to the hotline, the YWCA’s Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis program offers victims accompaniment to legal and medical proceedings, individual counseling for victims and their significant others, support groups, advocacy and prevention/education programs to professional and civic groups, and students in Cumberland County schools.

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Email Tammie at tgitt@cumberlink.com. Follow her on Twitter @TammieGitt.

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Carlisle Reporter

Carlisle Reporter for The Sentinel.