Recognizing those who have survived sexual assault and working to ensure that no one else falls victim to it, the King County Council on Monday recognized April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the county.
“Preventing sexual assault requires changing harmful beliefs through conversation with friends, family and communities,” said Council Chair Joe McDermott, a co-sponsor of the recognition, in a media release. “Organizations like the King County Sexual Assault Resource center do important work every day advocating for victims and promoting a healthy dialogue around sexual violence.”
Sexual assault is an issue that crosses ages and genders. One in four girls and one in six boys will experience a sexual assault before the age of 18 and one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while attending college.
“Too many of us know someone who has been a victim of sexual assault. That person may be a friend, relative or colleague and he or she may or may not have made the assault public, but the tragedy of sexual assault is pervasive in Washington, the United States and the world,” said Councilmember Claudia Balducci. “I am proud to join the sponsors, Councilmembers McDermott Lambert, in supporting this proclamation because bringing awareness to sexual assault is one step in making girls and boys and women and men safe everywhere.”
Sexual Assault Awareness Month was created in 2001 as a means to bring together local communities in a concerted effort to stop sexual violence.
Information is vital in preventing sexual violence. Agencies such as the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs and Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress work on making people aware of the impact of sexual violence and encouraging everyone to be “part of the solution” in stopping it.