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Mercer County scavenger hunt brings attention to Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Volunteers have been hanging teal ribbons throughout Hillsborough Township and the surrounding area for years. (Courtesy photo)

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in April, the Womanspace Education and Community Outreach Committee is planning a Turn the Town Teal Scavenger Hunt to spread awareness throughout the county.

With the support of local businesses, Hightstown, Lawrence, Trenton, Ewing and Hamilton, and Rider University, are participating in this campaign.

“This year for SAAM, we will be starting our first scavenger hunt to raise awareness. Our goal is to involve the community to learn more about sexual assault in an accessible and engaging way. We are hoping this event will continue to grow each year,” Danielle Scollins, coordinator of Prevention and Community Education, said in a prepared statement.

The committee members will be placing teal ribbons attached to posters with QR codes in small businesses, restaurants and local parks. These QR codes will link to fact-based content on how the community can support and believe survivors. Participants will scan the QR code on their smartphone to learn how to support survivors, talk about consent, and facts on the reality of sexual assault.

Teal ribbons attached to fliers will be located at the following locations within each municipality in the order listed below:

  • Hightstown: Little Key Coffee, 4Seasons Deli & Café, Hightstown Public Library, Association Park
  • Lawrence: Starbucks, The Gingered Peach, Purple Cow, Weeden Park
  • Trenton: Mercer County Board of Social Services (MCBOSS), Cooper’s Riverview, The Big Easy, Serenity Garden
  • Ewing: Pizza City, Timeless Hair Gallery, Wawa, Planet Fitness
  • Hamilton: Gifted Boutique, Jersey Girl Café, Rt 33 Starbucks, Robbinsville Lake Dr. Gazebo
  • Rider University: Saxby’s, Daly’s, Starbucks, Cranberries

The scavenger hunt begins April 8 and continue throughout April. Participants who complete the scavenger hunt will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win door prizes, including Beats by Dre, an Amazon Echo Dot, and Ulta & Lowe’s Home Improvement gift cards. The raffle will be drawn the first week of May and winners will be contacted by a Womanspace staff member.s

“In order to envision a world without violence, the importance of community education and community response must always be at the forefront of our minds; by engaging in tough and uncomfortable conversations, we are able to better understand what is needed to turn an idea into our reality,” Scollins said in the statement.

Founded in 1977, Womanspace is a leading non-profit organization serving the greater Mercer County area and the State of New Jersey by providing a comprehensive array of emergency and follow-up services to individuals and families impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault. Bilingual services and programs include 24/7 crisis intervention, safe, short-term emergency shelter, short and long-term transitional housing, individual counseling and therapeutic support groups for adults and children, court advocacy and the 24/7 crisis hotline 609-394-9000. Womanspace also operates the 24/7 New Jersey Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline 800-572-SAFE. To learn more about Womanspace, visit www.womanspace.org.

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