Sexual Violence Awareness Month

In the United States every hour, there are 67 attacks on women and 28 rapes. The startling statistics come from the U.S. Department of Justice. This April we recognize Sexual Violence Awareness Month.

This is a growing problem in Florida. That's what local counselors say, and the most problematic areas may surprise you. It's a sensitive issue for many people, rape or sexual assault, so much that even victims don't seek help.

Jennifer Dritt with the FL Council Against Sexual Violence says, “The process is grueling and often damages womens’ reputation.”

Especially those living in rural towns where everybody knows your name.

“They're at greater risk and less likely to report than urban women are,” Jennifer adds.

Another factor is resources are low in rural counties. Just ask Kathy Asbell, the only Outreach counselor in Wakulla County who took on more than 700 cases in 2002.

“That's just domestic violence. Last month we had three rapes in one weekend in this county,” says Kathy.

It's a growing problem these ladies are battling as they pledge to end sexual violence in Wakulla County. Victims of sexual violence in Wakulla County don't have a Refuge House to retreat to, but they do have a hotline. The number is 681-2111.

The Refuge House services eight surrounding counties with either houses or Outreach counselors. They are located in Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Taylor and Wakulla County.

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Statistics on Sexual Violence

  • From 1998 to 1999 the overall violent crime rate declined 10 percent in the United States.

  • According to this same report, rapes increased from 110 per thousand in 1998 to 141 per thousand in 1999, a 20 percent increase.

  • Sexual assault for that same period also increased by 33.3 percent.

  • An estimated 1 in 4 women, and 1 in 6 men will experience a sexual assault in their lifetime.

  • Approximately 70 percent of rapes and sexual assaults are not reported to police.

  • Almost 70 percent of the rape and sexual assault victims knew the offender as an acquaintance, friend, relative, or intimate.

  • In response to these alarming statistics, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) was formed and opened in July of 2000.

  • The National Sexual Violence Resource Center is dedicated to strengthening the support system serving sexual assault survivors.

Source: http://www.nsvrc.org/ (National Sexual Violence Resource Center Web Site)


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