Sexual violence support group raising awareness on 'Giving Tuesd - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Sexual violence support group raising awareness on 'Giving Tuesday'

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A non-profit group created to support and improve the response to sexual violence is joining what's become known on social media as "Giving Tuesday."

Jane Doe No More announced last week that it joined the movement to raise awareness for its Safe Student Initiative, which it called an effort to educate and prevent sex assaults on college campuses.

Giving Tuesday is recognized on Dec. 1. Social media users have been posting about it with the hashtag #GivingTuesday.

"#GivingTuesday reminds us of what the holiday season is all about," said Donna Palomba, president and founder of Jane Doe No More. "With the rush to get all the holiday shopping done and to try and get the best deals, the spirit of the season can often be lost. This incredibly thoughtful movement should inspire us all to give back to our communities."

The organization said the movement began three years ago in New York City and was the brain child of the United Nations Foundation. It was meant as a charitable appeal to Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers.

Palomba, who said said she's a rape victim herself, wants people to recognize the way they give.

"We started thinking about ways people may want to get involved beyond monetary donations," she explained. "At Jane Doe No More, we give 'compassion,' 'encouragement' [and] 'hope.' [They're] simple practices that have an enormous impact on those in our community, especially those affected by sexual violence."

Palomba founded Jane Doe No More in 2007. She said she was brutally raped in 1993 and accused of lying about it to investigators. Since then, she said her mission has been to make sure other victims don't experience that.

"My fight for justice allows me to fight for others," she said. "I'm so pleased and appreciative to have the opportunity to introduce our 'Safe Student Initiative.'  Our advocacy programs will be led by sexual assault survivors who will share their personal stories and our hope is to provide a resource to colleges and universities in their resolve to prevent sexual assaults."

For more information, visit the organization's website here.

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