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 at least 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.
According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, one rape is reported to law enforcement every seven hours and 24 minutes, and the perpetrator knows the victim 78 percent of the time. However, these numbers cannot reflect the true magnitude of the problem because rape continues to be one of the nation’s most underreported crimes. Nationally, only 41 percent of rapes are reported to law enforcement according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2009.
This year’s campaign, "It's time...to get involved," incorporates a bystander approach to sexual violence prevention. A bystander, or witness, is anyone who sees a situation but may or may not know what to do, may think others will act or may be afraid to do something. Research shows that engaging bystanders is a promising way to help prevent the widespread problem of sexual violence in communities. KCSDV urges Kansans to engage in conversation about sexual assault this month and beyond. Get involved, it's time!
Do something to support victims and end sexual violence:
- Attend a sexual assault awareness event in your community.
- 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 www.kcsdv.com/find-help/in-kansas.html
- 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.
The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence is a private, non-profit organization working to prevent and eliminate sexual and domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. KCSDV is a coalition of 29 statewide sexual and domestic violence advocacy programs providing direct services to survivors. Visit KCSDV online at kcsdv.org or facebook.com/KCSDV. The Kansas Crisis Hotline is 888-END-ABUSE (888-363-2287).