The Union County Board of County Commissioners reminds residents that April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising public awareness about sexual violence and educating communities on how to prevent it.

“Year round and especially throughout Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we work to help make Union County residents aware of services that are available to those who have been impacted by sexual violence. In a time of great personal crisis, it is important to know that you are not alone, and that your community supports you,” said Board of County Commissioners Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

Victims of sexual violence often find themselves isolated, without support from family or friends and in need of medical and legal services. In order to ensure that all Union County residents have access to support, in 1984 the County Commissioner Board established the Union County Rape Crisis Center (UCRCC), which provides in-person services as well as a 24-hour hotline run by trained advocates.

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National Sexual Assault Awareness Month has been organized since 2001 through the non-profit National Sexual Violence Resource Center, building on long term efforts to support victims that dates back to the 1970’s and earlier.

This year, the theme is “We Can Build Safe Spaces Online.” Throughout the month and across the country, there will be initiatives and efforts highlighting the way that technology has become a part of everyday life, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Union County, the County Commissioner Board will recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month with an official resolution reflecting the Board’s continued commitment to the Union County Rape Crisis Center’s work within the community to effect change and communicate support for survivors.

The County Commissioner Board also invites the community to participate in Denim Day on April 28. Participants can support Denim Day in Union County by snapping a photo of themselves and friends/co-workers wearing denim and send it to websupport@ucnj.org for a feature on the County website, County social media and the UCRCC blog.

UCRCC is a service of the Union County Department of Human Services, Division of Individual and Family Support Services. It provides crisis intervention, advocacy, and medical and legal accompaniment for survivors of sexual violence through a 24-hour hotline. UCRCC also offers, trauma-informed counseling to those affected by sexual violence.

During the COVID-19 pandemic UCRCC services have been modified. For assistance or for additional details, please call the UCRCC hotline at 908-233-7273, visit their webpage at http://bit.ly/UnionCountyRapeCrisisCenter or check out the UCRCC blog at unioncountyrapecrisiscenter.blogspot.com.

For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including guidance for using the Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University and a list of locations for walk-up tests, visit ucnj.org/coronavirus-update.

For general information about COVID-19 and phone contacts for 24/7 assistance with questions, visit the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.