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Signs of HOPE Marks 50 Years of Service to the Las Vegas Community During Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April

Signs of HOPE Marks 50 Years of Service to the Las Vegas Community During
Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April

LAS VEGAS, NEV. (March 28, 2024) – Sexual Assault Awareness Month, observed annually in April, was first nationally recognized 23 years ago. Long before that in 1974, two local Las Vegas women, Florence McClure and Sandra Petta, outraged by the lack of resources and respect for survivors of sexual assault, launched Community Action Against Rape, which they operated from McClure’s home, later renaming their organization The Rape Crisis Center. Today, 50 years later, the organization now known as Signs of HOPE (Healing, Options, Prevention and Education), carries on the founders’ legacy by continuing to offer hope, help and healing to those affected by sexual violence and exploitation in our community.

Over the last half century, Signs of HOPE has grown significantly from its two-woman beginnings and today operates from a victim-centered approach across all facets of the organization including: two 24/7 hotlines staffed by trained advocates; trauma-trained counselors offering sessions in English and Spanish; training and prevention programs offered free-of-charge to large and small businesses and other public-facing organizations; and in-school education programs designed to help young people learn about healthy versus unhealthy relationships and boundaries.

“This is a very special year for our organization as we mark five decades of service to the Las Vegas community. We also honor the strength and resiliency of the victim-survivors of sexual violence we serve, and we express gratitude to the dedicated Signs of HOPE staff, volunteers and the first responders who work in this field 24 hours per day, 365 days per year,” said Kim Small, CEO of Signs of HOPE. “We are very proud of our history and acknowledge that our work to stem the tide of sexual violence and human trafficking is far from over. Demand for services, counseling and prevention programs continue to expand.”

According to Small, in 2023 Signs of HOPE:

  • Provided more than 3,600 counseling sessions
  • Encountered more than 1,200 human trafficking victims in the field
  • Served more than 580 human trafficking survivors, including 107 juveniles
  • Staffed over 4,000 hotline calls
  • Proudly supported its community volunteers, who provided over 21,000 hours of service to the organization

As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Signs of HOPE is inviting community members to join the organization in raising awareness about this issue that affects so many in Southern Nevada. There are many ways to get involved:

  • Donate
      • $50 – pays for a client transportation
      • $75 – provides one counseling session
      • $150 – provides one prevention and education class in a Clark County School District school
      • $250 – provides emergency shelter for one night
  • Volunteer – we could not operate without our wonderful volunteers, and we welcome anyone who is interested to learn about the various volunteer opportunities we offer. To apply for our training course, visit https://sohlv.org/become-a-volunteer/.

Information on the history of the organization, donations, volunteering, Denim Day and the 50th anniversary celebration may be found on Signs of HOPE’s website, sohlv.org.

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About Signs of HOPE

Signs of HOPE – Healing, Options, Prevention and Education – is a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering hope, help and healing to those affected by sexual violence and exploitation. The organization was founded in 1974 by Florence McClure and Sandra Petta as the Community Action Against Rape (CAAR) and operated as The Rape Crisis Center from 2004-2021. Today, Signs of HOPE operates two 24/7 crisis hotlines and provides hospital response for sexual assault victims. In addition, the organization provides counseling, advocacy and support to help victims throughout the healing process, for as long as it takes. Through its Resources and Integration for Survivor Empowerment or RISE program, the organization provides crisis response and long-term case management services to victims of all forms of human trafficking. Signs of HOPE is committed to raising awareness of sexual assault and exploitation by engaging in prevention efforts, educational programs and community outreach, particularly to youth. The Signs of HOPE 24-hour hotline number is 702-366-1640.The RISE human trafficking 24/7 hotline is 702-936-4004. For more information, visit sohlv.org.

About Denim Day

The day commemorates a 1998 decision by the Supreme Court of Italy, which overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans, and the panel concluded she must have assisted her attacker in taking them off, and therefore was consenting. The following day, female members of the Italian parliament wore jeans to work in solidarity with the young victim. This terrible decision brought worldwide attention to the rampant victim blaming that continues to occur with sexual assault.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Lisa Robinson, The Warren Group, [email protected], 702-326-0334