Women's Center Relaunches Sexual Assault Prevention Campaign

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Claudia Ratzlaff, CEO of the Women’s Center in Linwood. Claudia Ratzlaff, CEO of the Women’s Center in Linwood.
LINWOOD, N.J. -

Over the last few weeks, there have been a number of allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior around the United States.

The Women’s Center — in Atlantic County — recently launched a new campaign aimed at aiding in the prevention of sexual assault and harassment.

“When you cross the street, you look both ways,” said Claudia Ratzlaff, CEO of the Women’s Center. “So, it’s just about developing some skill set that will hopefully increase your awareness and make you less vulnerable.”

In the purest sense, the only prevention can be from the perpetrator.

That's what the Women’s Center is trying to get across with a relaunch of their sexual assault prevention campaign intended to raise awareness about the reality of the situation and engaging more women and men in sexual violence prevention.

“In the purest sense, the only prevention can be from the perpetrator,” said Ratzlaff.

She says statistics show that one in three women, and one in seven men, are impacted by sexual violence over their lifetime.

As more people are home for the holidays and going out for a good time, Ratzlaff says interpersonal safety needs to be stressed.

“Going out with people that you trust, the buddy system,” said Ratzlaff. “It’s about watching your drink, understanding that if you go to the restroom — who’s watching the drink or do you take it with you?"

Society has really given victims permission to be heard, and it’s very exciting.

Thanks to help from a recent grant, the Women's Center is utilizing social media and plastering its mission on sexual assault and sexual harassment around the area, including on a billboard leading into Atlantic City.

“It’s just something to see, and to remind everybody, 'Hey, you’re heading in to have a good time [and] you want to be heading out and say you had a good memory, [right?].”

With so many sexual assault and harassment allegations in the media today, Ratzlaff hopes the Women's Center can continue to engage, educate, and empower the masses during this time of heightened awareness through prevention training.

“Society has really given victims permission to be heard, and it’s very exciting,” said Ratzlaff.

For more information or for help, call the center’s hotline at 1-800-286-4184.

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