Olmsted County encourages residents to wear teal for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

(ABC 6 News) – April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Olmsted County is encouraging residents to take part in the Paint the Town Teal initiative.

Throughout the month, the Victim Services team of Dodge, Fillmore, and Olmsted Counties are asking the community to wear teal-colored clothing on Tuesdays to raise awareness and start conversations about sexual assault.

Local businesses are also taking part in Paint the Town Teal by decorating their storefronts or windows with the color to show their support.

This is the first year Paint the Town Teal is taking place.

Sarah Palmer, Violence Prevention & Volunteer Coordinator with Olmsted County Victim Services, says the initiative isn’t only about raising victim’s voices, but also creating a safer culture that prevents violence from happening in the first place.

“It’s an initiative to basically get the color to all over town and we’ve partnered with a number of businesses in Rochester, who have graciously allowed us to use their windows, to paint to ribbons and other messages about the month about Sexual Assault Awareness Month, as a way to reach as many people as possible to really get the issue out there in the public,” says Palmer.

National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 81% of women and 43% of men reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime.

The Victim Services team of Dodge, Fillmore, and Olmsted Counties has provided support to people impacted by sexual assault and other crimes for more than 30 years.

A full list of Victim Services resources can be found on the Olmsted County website.