April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.....
Sexual violence is a major public health, human rights, and social justice issue that affects everyone. Sexual violence—including child sexual abuse—crosses all ages, genders, races, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds.
Some all too familiar statistics:
- 1 in 5 women is a survivor of rape
- 1 in 2 women have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lives
- 1 in 5 women (and 1 in 16 men) have been sexually assaulted while in college
- 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault
- Studies have shown that LGBTQ people experience sexual assault at equal or higher rates than non-LGBTQ people
- Rape costs US taxpayers annually more than any other crime in costs, consequences, and and related healthcare than any other crime ($127 Billion)…that’s more than assault ($97 Billion), murder ($71 Billion), and drunk driving ($61 Billion).
We need to stand up and speak out to change the culture in our country that questions the actions of victims, rather than those of their attackers. It's on all of us to support victims and survivors by providing them with the care they need, bringing perpetrators to justice, and ensuring our institutions are held responsible and do not look the other way. Preventing sexual assault begins with everyone getting involved in promoting healthy relationships and encouraging respect for the equality of others – and making a difference.