Flowers for Victims

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) – Jackson County officials and community leaders showed their support for victims of sexual abuse Thursday with flowers.

Eight years ago, the Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) asked Scottsboro city officials if they could plant a flower bed to show victims they are not alone.

“So it would be an ongoing presentation,” SART coordinator Traci Bynum said.

“Something that would last for a whole spring and summer season.  Possibly into the fall.”

When the new city hall opened near the square, they set up flower beds right out front.

“It helps beautify the area around City Hall here but it also, as people come by, with the signage and the flowers, to bring awareness to the sexual abuse problem that is facing this county and the support that we have for the groups,” Mayor Melton Potter said.

In the middle of one of the flower beds is a small sign that says “One is too many,” and is a reminder from SART they won’t tolerate the crime Bynum describes as hideous.

“It is embarrassing, degrading, they feel alone, they feel different, they often feel dirty and ashamed, don’t trust their own instincts.  They are good, they are not dirty, they are to be respected, they deserve respect and we want to give them that , we want them to know that this was a crime against them.  This wasn’t a crime about them,” she said.

Flowers for Victims marked the first Thursday of Sexual Abuse Awareness Month, and the final Thursday, April 25, will be a program called “Jeans 4 Justice.”

SART asks people to make $2 donations and wear jeans to work that day to show support for victims, and to tell perpetrators they don’t condone that behavior in Jackson County.