Robert D Hill Lady Devils blank West Union 7-0 in SHAC soccer finale Vikings invade and conquer the Greyhounds Outpouring of community support for local business woman with cancer Manchester mourns teen killed in single-car crash Kylie S Lucas Sharon R Grooms Steven L Wootten Forest J McDaniel Ralph O Grooms Adams County teenager dies in auto accident Charles N Vance Wesley M Baldwin James Kennedy Tom A Mihalovich Brand hat trick leads North Adams past West Union 5-2 in SHAC soccer action Senior Profile: Bryant Lung Lady Hounds pull off thrilling Senior Night win Volleyball milestones continue to pile up at North Adams Banner season for Lady Indians soccer SHAC holds Junior High Volleyball Tournament Tournament match ups set for volleyball and soccer Senior Profile: Morgan Edmisten Hounds dominate, improve to 3-4 Is this not the best time of the year? Volley For The Cure is another big success Getting everything we ask for Oh, that dreaded leaf project Manchester: Adams County’s oldest community looks to the future with hope Congressman visits Manchester’s newest business Six candidates vie for MLSD School Board Highway 41 road work stalls MFD holds annual Safety Day for kids, families Lenora Mckee Virgie Cole Helen J Damron Karen S Lockhart Donna M Pelfrey Russell D Pollitt, Sr Karen S Lockhart Harris named Director of Shelter for the Homeless Local candidates abundant on November ballot Senior Profile: McKinlee Grooms Lady Dragons finish third in district golf tourney Lady Devils challenged, but survive to extend SHAC streak to 60 Rally falls short, Lady Hounds fall in five sets to Fairfield Senior Profile: Jessica Newman Lady Indians get shutout win over West Union, 2-0 Erwins host annual Herb Fair Bentonville: A community at the crossroads of Adams County history Tranquility, Wilson Homestead host annual Heritage Days Why we get back up Your local newspaper, the real deal Welcome to the morning klatch Oleda F Saunders Frank A Golden Shirley A Tully Hubert Knauff John T Shupert Celebrate the sports pages Gould, Woolard, defense lead Hounds to second win George E Lucas Betty A Johnson Hayes sentenced Sue Day Devils headed back to state golf tourney Earl R Fields Alberta L Steward Gregory Terry Linda Taylor Levies slated for November ballot Manchester residents forming neighborhood watch group West Union teachers receive prestigious award Crum arraigned in Brown County Common Pleas Court Seaman: A small town with a big heart and a family spirit Seaman Fall Festival again draws large crowds NAES participates in weekend food program AES Ohio Generation assumes control of DP&L assets West Union, Peebles take home county XC crowns Lady Devils win a soccer buzzer-beater Senior Profile: Brooklyn Wylie Lady Dragons move to districts Green Devils win sectional golf title West Union hosting fourth annual Alumni Volleyball Game Gray breaks Lady Indians’ single season goals record Senior Profile: Chase Cummings Lady Dragons cruise to SHAC title Hupp ties school record with five goals in Lady Devils’ win over Southeastern For 14th time in 15 years, Dragons claim SHAC Boys Golf Championship Getting life in order See those signals of the season Jury returns verdict in former Manchester police officer’s trial Larry Peters Gary L Hughes Sr Deanna L Parker Stephen R Fetters Bonnie Hawkins Clifton J DeMint Steven L Kimberlin When you just know

Olympic athlete speaks at April 6 SAAM event

At last week’s SAAM event, from left, Brown County Victim Advocate Jessica Roush, Olympian Margaret Hoelzer, and Adams County Victim Advocate Kim Newman.

Silver medalist spotlights sexual assault awareness – 

Story and photos by Patricia Beech – 

Olympic athlete Margaret Hoelzer has a simple message for victims of sexual assault – “you are not alone”.
“I was abused as a child,” she says matter-of-factly. “But I’m a survivor, and you can learn how to be a survivor too.”
It is a deeply personal message for Hoelzer – an American swimmer, silver medalist, bronze medalist, and former world-record holder who competed in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games.
She shared her story at the 4th Annual “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” (SAAM) event held Thursday, April 6 at the North Adams Elementary School in Seaman.
“After the 2008 Olympics I wanted to go public with my story, and I wanted to use being an athlete as a platform,” she says. “At the time I had a sports agent and he set me up with a reporter from the Associated Press and I did an interview. I honestly thought that was going to be it, but people began reaching out to me asking if I’d come speak at their events.”
Hoelzer has since become a public speaker on child abuse issues and she serves as the national spokesperson for the National Children’s Advocacy Center. She has also received the “Voice of Courage” award from the Darkness to Light child advocacy services.
For more than eight years she has traveled across America working with victim advocates to raise awareness about sexual assault.
“This isn’t a field people go into because it’s a happy, fuzzy subject,” she says. “There are amazing people who work in this field and want to give back to their communities – it sounds cheesy, but they make the world a better place.”
The annual SAAM event is sponsored by the Adams and Brown County Prosecutor offices, the Adams Crime Victim Assistance Program, and victim advocates Kim Newman and Jessica Roush. Their purpose – to raise awareness about sexual assault.

A silent auction was part of the activities at the April 6 SAAM event held at the North Adams Elementary School

“We do this so people know there’s hope in healing,” Newman says. “We get a lot more calls after events like this from people reaching out, and we’ve got disclosures many times at this event because people feel safe here, they know they’ll be believed, and there’s hope so they reach out and disclose what happened to them.”
Adams County Prosecutor, David Kelley agrees: “The SAAM event offers a refuge for victims of sexual assault by giving them a safe place where they know others understand their experience,” says Kelley. “There are people here who believe them, who care, and are here to share.”
Kelley further emphasizes the importance of sexual assault awareness in preventing a crime he says “does not always leave a visible mark.”
“People are more aware now, but when I was growing up in the 60’s you didn’t talk about it, there was no help, no victim advocates, and people’s unwillingness to believe the victim meant perpetrators were allowed to escape unpunished for decades,” he said. “In today’s society people want CSI, they want DNA evidence, but if someone touches you inappropriately, the mark they leave is almost always invisible.”
While education and awareness have made significant strides in changing people’s attitudes about sexual assault, they have also more importantly impacted how sexual assault cases are handled in our courts.
“We start by believing,” Kelley says without hesitation. “We don’t challenge the victim, we take them as they are, and we investigate the case – thoroughly. Sexual assault is a crime of power over someone else, so I try to empower victims to set the pace, and when they’re ready to be in a confrontational courtroom setting, we will bring charges. It’s a victim oriented, a victim-driven process.”
Several other community organizations and agencies also participated in the SAAM event including: FRS Counseling, Stewards of Children, the Mayerson Center from Childrens Hospital, the Adams County Regional Medical Center, ABCAP, Shawnee Mental Health, and Women Helping Women.
“We invite several different organizations so people will know what resources are available to victims,” Roush says. “It allows us to reach more people in the area.”
The event also featured Zumba and Yoga class, a silent auction with more than 40 items donated by individuals and businesses, and a raffle which offered a wide variety of gift cards and admission tickets for the Newport Aquarium, the Freedom Center, Coney Island, and a Cincinnati Reds game.
This year, the SAAM campaign motto is “Engaging New Voices”, and the focus is on involving coaches, faith leaders, parents, and bystanders in preventing sexual assault. While many people know about sexual assault and believe it is a problem, they don’t know how they can help.
Victim advocates work tirelessly to fill that gap by providing access to information that educates and helps prevent sexual assault – now and in the future.
“Every generation learns anew, and every generation builds on the one that comes before,” says Kelley. “The work we do now forms the foundation for what our children will do as adults to prevent sexual abuse in the years to come.”

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