Blood drive raises awareness on sexual assault

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

CVSAS hold open house and blood drive

LA QUINTA, Calif.- - Coachella Valley Sexual Assault Services held an open house and blood drive as part of Sexual Assault Awareness month Tuesday.

The organization is part of the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) and work with both law enforcement and Eisenhower Medical Center to ensure victims get the services they need. This comes as the #MeToo movement is in full force where powerful people have been held to account after being accused to sexual harassment or assault.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center one in five women and one in 67 men will be raped at some point their lives and 63 percent of sexual assaults go unreported to police.

There is also a local blood shortage, especially when it comes to O-positive and O-negative blood types.

"It's to kind of ease people to come out and meet us, meet us in person and to know what our services are about and that we're here to help," Winette Brenner, program director for CVSAS, said.

One survivor, Moncia Rubio, who works as a counselor for CVSAS, says seeking help is a step forward to healing for victims.

"Number one is that, it's not their fault. They have to understand that these things that happen, there are sick people in the world and it's not their fault," she said. "You get yourself out of that depression, just to be able to speak about it, is a way to heal. Just talk to others. See who you can help."

The event began at 10 a.m. and ran until 3 p.m. at 78370 CA-111 in La Quinta. The bloodmobile was present for anyone wanting to give blood. 

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