Lufkin Crisis Center acknowledges Sexual Assault Awareness Month with art display

“Things aren’t always what you see,”
Lufkin Crisis Center acknowledges Sexual Assault Awareness Month with art display
Published: Apr. 5, 2023 at 1:37 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 5, 2023 at 10:10 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - An East Texas non-profit recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month by creating an art display.

The Family Crisis Center of East Texas is a “is a non-profit organization that empowers survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault by providing crisis intervention and advocacy services.’”

The Center runs several thrift stores as a way of raising funds, and they also provide items from the store to those in their program who need them.

Wednesday morning at the Lufkin thrift store, the center’s and community leaders gathered to commemorate sexual assault month.

Developmental Director Melissa Wheeler unveiled an art piece created to raise awareness about the issue of sexual assault as well as raise awareness of the center and its services.

“We want you to know that there is free and confidential help,” said Wheeler.

The art piece was accompanied by an information table that had various pamphlets about the center and what they offer.

Program director Glenna Harkness said the center is setting up displays of doors at their stores and offices throughout the nine counties they serve. Harkness said the concept is to open the conversation and educate the public on what sexual assault is.

“Just trying to educate that sexual assault is about consent. There’s a power in control will,” Harkness said.

Wheeler said numbers are staggering in sexual assault cases.

“When you’re looking at statistics, you can see there’s variance in the numbers.

According to the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, two in five women and one in 20 men are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. 80 percent of assaults go unreported.

Wheeler said most cases they see, victims know their perpetrator.

“It can be a family member, a friend, or an acquaintance; someone that they have trusted throughout their lifetime,” she said.

In many cases, Harkness said the abuse leaves long-lasting effects that can cause mental health issues in adulthood.

”Maybe something occurred back then, but maybe they need counseling today,” said Harkness. “You don’t have to come to us with a recent victimization.”

If you or anybody you know is seeking help, one can call the center’s 24-hour crisis hotline 1-800-828-7233 or send a text to 936-552-9256.

To learn more about the Family Crisis Center of East Texas, click here.