County Council recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Representatives from agencies and organizations that assist survivors of sexual assault in chambers for the  proclamation of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in King County.
Members were joined by the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC), the Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence, King County Women’s Advisory Board, Mother Nation, Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services (ADWAS), Asian Counseling Referral Services (ACRS) and the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress the proclamation.
Council President and representative for Shoreline, Lake Forest Park and other north end cities, Rod Dembowski, far right. 

It is an issue that crosses ages and genders. One in four girls and one in six boys will experience it before they turn 18, and it occurs to one in five women and one in 16 men while attending college.

The Metropolitan King County Council today recognized April 2019 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in King County, recognizing those who have survived sexual assault and working to ensure that no one else will experience it.

“Today we send a message that victims of sexual assault matter and are heard. Shining a light on this topic and helping victims find justice and closure is the reason I spearheaded an effort in 2015 to ensure all rape kits in King County were tested. These actions are just a few examples of how our government supports victims and takes sexual assault seriously.”
--Council Chair Rod Dembowski

Sexual assault is a crime that 45 percent of women and 22 percent of men in this state report having experienced in their lifetime. That number increases for people of color, refugees, immigrants, LGBTQ and other marginalized community members, with one recent study showing that 94 percent of Native American women in Seattle report they have been sexually assaulted.

The King County Board of Health, chaired by Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, this month approved the creation of a Board of Health subcommittee that will focus on a public health approach to preventing sexual assault, domestic violence and missing and murdered indigenous women.

Information is vital in preventing sexual violence. Agencies such as the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC) and the Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence work on making people aware of the impact of sexual violence and encouraging everyone to be “part of the solution” in stopping it.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month was created in 2001 as a means to bring together local communities in a concerted effort to stop sexual violence.

For more information on sexual assault prevention and on SAAM events in Washington, visit: King County Sexual Assault Resource Center or Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence

The City of Shoreline also issued a proclamation for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.


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