TOPEKA, KAN. - The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) joins nationwide efforts to recognize the month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time to highlight this pervasive crime that affects approximately 3,040 women and 962 men in Kansas each year. KCSDV urges all Kansans to strengthen their efforts to provide safety and support for victims and accountability for perpetrators in their community.
"Women, children and men are being sexually violated in every community in Kansas," said Sandy Barnett, executive director of KCSDV. "We are urging all Kansans to believe and support victims, and to hold perpetrators accountable by speaking out against these crimes. We can end sexual violence in Kansas, but it’s going to take everybody working together to create communities where sexual violence is not tolerated," Barnett said.
According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, one rape is reported every seven hours and 24 minutes, and the perpetrator knows the victim 78 percent of the time. "We use these figures with caution because we know that sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes - the US. Department of Justice reports that only 41 percent of sexual assaults nationwide are reported to law enforcement," Barnett said.
All Kansans can do something to support victims and end sexual violence in their community:
- Attend a sexual assault awareness event in your community. Find an event at kcsdv.org
- Learn the facts about sexual violence and speak out against rape myths
- Know the Kansas Crisis Hotline number - (888) END-ABUSE.
- Be familiar with sexual and domestic violence advocacy organization(s) serving your community and be ready to make a referral - Find a program near you at kcsdv.org
- Donate to or volunteer at your local advocacy program
KCSDV is reducing barriers for victims of sexual assault. KCSDV coordinates the statewide Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) and Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) initiatives. In addition, KCSDV recently published Addressing Sexual Violence in Kansas: A State Response Plan. This document creates a framework for enhancing coordinated community responses inclusive of all the systems and services that impact victims, including mental health and health care systems, law enforcement and court systems, education systems and employers. The State Response Plan also focuses on eliminating sexual violence through primary prevention and social change efforts.
Contact: Melissa DeDonder
The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) is a private, non-profit organization working to prevent and eliminate sexual and domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. KCSDV is a coalition of 30 sexual and domestic violence advocacy programs that provide direct services and support for victims statewide. Learn more at kcsdv.org.