April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and locals gathered at Bossier Parish Community College this morning to kick off local events.

Vice Chancellor of Student Services Karen Recchia said this is an important issue across the country.

"Sexual violence touches the lives of many," Recchia said. "At Bipsy, we are committed to providing awareness, educational resources and prevention strategies to affect change and keep our campus community safe. Prevention IS possible and it begins here today, where every person is valued, respected and protected. This is a day of action."

Angela Henderson with Project Celebration shared some alarming statistics at today's kick-off.

"Every 107 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States," she said. "One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday."

But, like Recchia, Henderson said prevention IS possible when we join with individuals, communities and the private sector to take action to promote safety, respect and equality.

"We all have a role in preventing sexual violence," said Henderson. "Prevention is possible when everyone is involved. Prevention is possible when consent is understood and respected. Prevention is possible when individuals support change. Prevention is possible when misconception and victim blame is eliminated. And it starts with us."

Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler read a proclamation created by her and Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker naming April Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Shreveport-Bossier. There's a long list of awareness month events going on over the next few weeks.

Take a look at photos from this morning's event:

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