April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

For Immediate Release: April 1, 2010
Contact: Alex Christodoulides / Sen. Stavisky’s office (718) 445-0004
                 Senator Stavisky Urges Safety and Prevention of Sexual Violence
Senator Toby Ann Stavisky announced that April has been designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month to raise awareness about sexual violence.  Victims are often unaware of what constitutes assault or the resources available to them to report the crime, which allows their assailants to remain on the streets.
By publicizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month the Senator hopes to raise awareness about sexual violence and help victims access the resources they need in order to bring their attacker to justice, and to recover emotionally and physically.
Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact from another individual, including rape, fondling, sexual harassment and stalking. While the act of sexual assault can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation or ability, victims are more often women: 1 in 6 women is likely to experience some form of sexual assault.  Approximately 1 in 33 men is sexually assaulted.
It is important to remember the assailant in sexual assault cases is often not a stranger, but a person known to the victim, including friends, neighbors or family.
“Based on the information about the rise in sexual assaults, it is extremely important to continue the campaign against sexual assaults in our state,” Senator Stavisky said. “I hope that by continuing to educate young men and women about sexual assault prevention we can reduce the number of individuals who become victims of these terrible assaults.”
The senator recognized that the Sexual Assault Awareness Month national campaign for 2010 focuses on what is becoming a very serious problem on college campuses throughout the state. According to statistics from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:
·       Among college women, 9 in 10 victims of rape and sexual assault knew their offender;
·       Almost 12.8% of completed rapes, 35% of attempted rapes, and 22.9% of threatened rapes happened during a date;
·       Among college women, only 12% of rapes were reported to law enforcement.
For more information on sexual assault and Sexual Assault Awareness month, visit www.nsvrc.org/saam, www.rainn.org or www.ovw.usdoj.gov/sexassault.htm.
If you or anyone you know has been the victim of a sexual assault please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800–656–HOPE (800–656–4673).