April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

- For Immediate Release

Topeka, KS - The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence invites you to join us in marking April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).

Sexual violence is one of the most pervasive and serious public health issues in this country. Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime. (NISVS, 2010) In Kansas, one rape is reported to law enforcement every eight hours. (KBI, 2010) Rape is one of the top 10 most prevalent person crimes in Kansas.

Most perpetrators of sexual violence abuse people that they know, often using their positions of trust and authority in order to do so. According to the KBI, "approximately 22.2 percent of all reported rape offenders in Kansas were arrested [in 2010]. This is a small portion of rape offenders when one considers that approximately 75.5 percent of the offenders were known to the victim." (KBI, 2010)

Services for victims of sexual assault are essential. In 2011, KCSDV member programs answered 1,459 sexual assault hotline calls, provided free and confidential services to 4,047 survivors of sexual assault, and provided nearly 10,000 hours of individual and group counseling to adult and minor survivors of sexual assault. Without these critical services, survivors would be left to recover without the benefit of support and connection that programs can provide.

Sexual violence can be prevented. During SAAM, KCSDV calls on systems to understand the conditions that increase risk for perpetration and victimization. Approximately 80 percent of female victims experience their first rape before the age of 25, and nearly 1 in 3 male victims were first raped when they were 10 years old or younger. While no groups are free from violence, consistent patterns show that women, young people, and racial and ethnic minorities are the most heavily affected subpopulations of sexual violence in the US. Working together as communities will reduce these numbers and risks.

Many events and activities are being held in Kansas as a part of SAAM. Find an event near you.

For more information about KCSDV, or to find a rape crisis center near you, visit kcsdv.org.

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Contact: Audra Fullerton
KCSDV Communications Coordinator
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o: 785-232-9784
c: 785-409-2006

Founded in 1982, the purpose of KCSDV is the prevention and elimination of sexual and domestic violence through a statewide network of programs providing support and safety for all victims of sexual and domestic violence and stalking, with primary focus on women and their children; direct services; public awareness and education; advocacy for victims; comprehensive prevention; and, social change efforts. Learn more at www.kcsdv.org.

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