PASSAGES dedicated to education, awareness in three-county area | News

Serving Clearfield, Jefferson and Clarion counties, PASSAGES Inc. is dedicated to spreading awareness, educating and promoting social change when it comes to sexual violence.

Outreach Coordinator and Counselor Advocate Sarah Pedley said PASSAGES offers individual counseling, crisis support, medical advocacy, legal advocacy and prevention services.

“Our prevention team works with preschool (age) to adults, to teach about boundaries, harassment, body safety, internet safety and more,” she said.

According to the PASSAGES website, its mission is to “advocate for the rights and needs of survivors of sexual violence, while working to eliminate all forms of sexual violence by educating community members and promoting social change.”

On average, the PASSAGES’ team provides 800 programs per year throughout area schools and in the community, said Pedley. It’s also active by being present and providing resources at community events.

Since it is a nonprofit organization, PASSAGES relies on grants and donations to be able to serve people, Pedley said.

The organization holds events all year, but during Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, PASSAGES fundraises with its Blue Ribbon Campaign, teaming up with local universities for “Walk-A-Mile” events.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, PASSAGES has noticed a slight increase in its demand for services, Pedley said.

PASSAGES has office locations on Beaver Drive in DuBois, Western Avenue in Brookville and Wood Street in Clarion.

There are many rewarding volunteer opportunities within the organization, said Pedley.

“Our volunteers get such a unique and fulfilling experience by working side-by-side with survivors,” Pedley said. “Volunteers cover our 24-hour hotline during non-business hours. During these times, they could get called out to the hospital or police station to advocate for a survivor.”

Volunteers go through a training process to ensure they are fully prepared to embark on a call, she noted.

PASSAGES is very active on social media and can be found on Facebook as well.