Women Helping Women Partnership April 16 2008

Women in Africa Show Solidarity with Sexual Assault Victims in Cincinnati Beadwork artists create purple ribbons for sexual assault awareness month

CINCINNATI- (April 16, 2008)‚ Beaded Hope, a local non-profit group that employs women impacted by HIV/AIDs in South Africa, is joining with Women Helping Women to raise awareness of sexual assault during April which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.Women Helping Women

Beaded Hope and Women Helping Women are offering handmade beaded purple ribbons to raise awareness and money for its programs. "Though we are helping people on opposite sides of the globe, our missions are the same: to support and educate women," said Jennifer Davis, executive director of Beaded Hope. "We want to empower women to move beyond their circumstances." "Sexual assault is an issue that is hard to talk about. Victims often worry about telling others what has happened and struggle to seek support for themselves," said Ann MacDonald, Executive Director of Women Helping Women.  "Our agency works to let victims know that it‚Äôs courageous to seek help, receive support and they are not to blame. We are pleased to join with Beaded Hope to benefit our community and the extraordinary women who craft this wonderful work of art in South Africa." The beadwork artists live in South Africa and are frequently infected with HIV/AIDS by husbands who have unprotected sex outside of the marriage, bringing the disease into entire families. Some undereducated men also believe sex with a virgin will cure AIDS, which leads to the rape of children. In all, 30% of the people in South Africa are infected with HIV/AIDS. Through Beaded Hope, women are buying food and medicine for their families. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of all Beaded Hope products also go to fund the only AIDS hospice in South Africa. JabulileJabulile Nkoski created all of the purple ribbons for Women Helping Women. She is HIV positive, as are her husband and two of her four children. "I pray for these women as I string the beads,‚Äù said Nkoski. ‚ÄúWomen should help each other in times of need." Residents throughout the greater Cincinnati region can show their support for sexual assault awareness month by purchasing a beaded purple ribbon at the Take Back The Night March on April 25 and Women Helping Women's spring fundraiser, Light Up The Night on May 1st. Beaded Hope creates ribbons for other causes as well, including red ribbons for AIDS and heart disease awareness and pink for breast cancer awareness. To view other ribbons or to suggest a new ribbon, go to beadedhope.com. About Beaded Hope Beaded Hope is an initiative of the Child Wellness Community Fund, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. Beaded Hope‚Äôs mission is to battle HIV/AIDS one person at a time by providing South Africans with the opportunity to earn an income, support their families and nurture their creativity while fostering the retention of age-old beadworking traditions. About Women Helping Women Founded in 1973, Women Helping Woman serves Southwestern Ohio as a unique provider of crisis intervention and support services for direct and indirect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. The agency also takes a leading role in building awareness in the community to prevent these crimes. Agency services include the 24-hour crisis line, hospital accompaniment, individual crisis intervention, court and law enforcement advocacy, support groups, date rape/dating violence prevention programs, community education and professional training.