Coloring book helps youth deal with surviving a sexual assault

FOX 32 NEWS - A Chicago school has received an award from the Chicago Community Trust to move forward with an unusual project that’s meant to combat sexual violence and help survivors.

Students from the Village Leadership Academy have created a coloring book on how to help survivors of sexual assault, and they have learned some important lessons themselves.

The coloring book is called "How to Help a Friend." It deals with just that: how to treat victims of sexual violence.

Scheherazade Tillet is with A Long Walk Home, which is a Chicago organization that uses art to educate young people to end violence against girls and women.

"I think this coloring book is a really great step in challenging the culture that we live in to create a culture that is healthy and loving for people,” Tillet said.

The students from the Village Leadership Academy were recipients of a $1000 prize from the Chicago Community Trust. They had to submit a video explaining their project and how it can have a positive impact on their community.

The Village Leadership Academy was just one of a few groups given the "Acting Up Award" by the Chicago Community Trust.

Daniel Ash is the chief marketing officer.

"Students instinctively knew that we needed something that was safe to allow us to feel comfortable with the issue and kids are comfortable with coloring books,” Ash said.

With their prize money, the kids were able to print the coloring books. Now, they hope to distribute them to teachers to use in classrooms with their students.

Organizers say it may seem that targeting children of the coloring book age is a bit young, but they believe it's an issue that can hit even the youngest of victims. And one way to combat sexual violence is by getting people to talk about it and learning not to blame the victims.

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