Niagara Gazette — Cortney Krueger has a message for Niagara County: “No More.”
The UB student and Wilson native, who will be starting law school in the fall, has been actively supporting the Joyful Heart Foundation’s “No More” campaign in local communities.
“No More” seeks to create awareness and action for ending domestic violence and sexual assault. The campaign, now just over a year old, utilizes a blue circle as its symbol — standing for a zero, as in zero cases of sexual assault.
The message is so important to Krueger that she also has the symbol tattooed on her wrist.
“These crimes are preventable, and they must be prevented,” she explained.
Krueger, who currently lives in Lockport, is a rape crisis advocate with the YWCA of Niagara. She compared the symbol of the blue circle to the pink ribbons which represent breast cancer awareness.
“If we can create as much visibility for sexual assault with the circle as the ribbon made breast cancer visible,” she said, “that would be a great thing.”
To help make it happen, Krueger has been working with the UB Wellness Center to obtain pamphlets and other literature from the campaign. She writes to legislators in Niagara and Erie counties to promote sexual assault prevention laws, and locally, she has been speaking to high school guidance counselors and administrators, offering free materials.
“I’ve offered the material, signs, pamphlets, to guidance counselors in many school districts, but many say that they have their hands full with academics,” Krueger said. “But 44 percent of sexual assaults occur when victims are under 18.”
Many of the posters Krueger gets from the “No More” campaign feature well-known celebrities which can help attract young people’s attention.
“We need to get the conversation started and address the problem,” she said.
In March, Krueger traveled to New York City to spread the message through signs, pins and other materials.
“People were extremely supportive, and we even ran into the founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation, Mariska Hargitay of ‘Law and Order: SVU,’ “ Krueger said.
When she gets her law degree, Krueger said she hopes to join a domestic violence task force with local organizations, and help reform legislation which stigmatizes victims.
“It’s exciting to be on board with this campaign,” she said.
For more information on the campaign, visit NoMore.org.