Covering a canvas with painted handprints is one way two local agencies are raising awareness about sexual assault and child abuse.
The Wesley House and Key Field Air National Guard Sexual Assault Response Program have partnered to promote awareness about child abuse and sexual assault during April.
The agencies kicked off the week Monday by displaying a canvas painted with blue and teal handprints at the Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience in Meridian.
“We wanted to partner with other agencies to make our community aware," said David Schultz, executive director of the Wesley House. "Because these are the services we offer at both our child advocacy center and our sexual assault crisis center."
Diana Shields, who coordinates the Sexual Assault Response Program at Key Field, said their partnership with Wesley House is vital to helping victims of abuse. “People need to know we are united and nothing can break that bond,” she said.
The canvas will remain posted in front of The MAX so community members can offer messages of support and words of encouragement for victims and survivors of sexual assault and child abuse, Schultz said.
The awareness effort continues at 9 a.m. on April 22, when the agencies will plant a magnolia tree at Planet Playground to honor victims and survivors of abuse.
For more information, contact the Wesley House at 601-485-4736.