BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) –If you’ve been in uptown Beckley Tuesday, April 12, 2022, you may have noticed a few teal ribbons scattered around.

AWAY, formally Women’s Resource Center, held a ribbon hanging ceremony with local law enforcement and the Raleigh County Prosecutors’ office. April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and teal is the color to represent Sexual Assault.

AWAY, Raleigh County Prosecutors, Law Enforcement gather for teal ribbon hanging ceremony Tuesday

Services Coordinator McKenzie Simpson hopes these ribbons will help victims know there is help out there for them and they are not alone. 

On the steps of the Raleigh County Prosecutors’ office, Simpson said, “Sexual violence is all around us. So it’s very important as a community that we can come together and assist people who have been through this and wrote Hanging Ribbons, just kind of shows that there is somebody there for them.”

Teal Ribbon displayed in Shoemaker Square in Beckley, West Virginia for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The teal ribbons were placed in Shoemaker Square in Beckley in hopes of bringing awareness to sexual assault. With warmer weather and the pandemic subsiding, Simpson said she is expecting more calls into her office.

“We’ve already seen a surge since last month on sexual assault call-outs and unfortunately, weather breaking and covid, how it simmers down then we will see more calls and sexual assault and domestic violence cases,” she said.

Simpson urges anyone who finds themselves the victim of sexual assault to reach out by calling her office at (304) 255-4066, visiting their website, or Facebook page.  Simpson said her office is equipped to handle the situation so you don’t have to alone. AWAY works closely with law enforcement as well to ensure the victims’ safety above all else. Simply put, sexual assault is not your fault, is never ok, and asking for help shows strength.