Bolton Refuge House to light up Eau Claire’s bridges for Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Bolton Refuge House in Eau Claire for the first time will illuminate the town throughout the month of April.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -Following the month of March, celebrating women’s history, April, around the world designates a time to recognize and show support for victims of sexual assault.
Bolton Refuge House is lighting up the River Lights at Phoenix Park in teal, the designated color for sexual assault awareness, every night throughout April.
“Part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month is the prevention piece, so part of prevention is literally just talking about it,” says Katelyn Wonderlin, Bolton Refuge House sexual assault victim advocate.
Wonderlin says lighting up the bridges is a simple, visual pledge of support for survivors of sexual violence.
“It’s really difficult to get people to have the time to dedicate to important causes when so much of COVID has taken away our tools that we typically would have,” says Wonderlin.
Each night of April, a different local business is sponsoring the bridge lights for $100.
“It’s been a really beautiful response from the community of hey, we recognize this is something we have to stop in Eau Claire and in the greater community,” says Wonderlin. “It gives me a lot of hope you know for the future, just that so many people have heard our message and said yep, I’m there I want to support, tell me how I can help.”
Wonderlin says the focus is often on survivors, having them tell their stories, but there is so much room for growth in letting those affected know they aren’t alone.
“Trust me it means a lot, it really means a lot just saying I want you to know that I recognize this is happening and that I’m here to be supportive, the difference that that can make, the simple thing that difference can make is really really beautiful,” says Wonderlin.
Funds will be used towards providing information sheets about Sexual Assault Awareness Month and how to access support services.
Wonderlin says hopefully they will be sponsoring River Light nights again in October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
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