TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Letters

March 12, 2012

March is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

CORBIN — Each year March is recognized in Kentucky as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. During the month you will hear different activities and events that each rape crisis program is hosting across the state. Cumberland River Victims’ Services, a program of Cumberland River Comprehensive Care Center, is the regional rape crisis program.

You may think that the awareness of this month has no significance to you. I ask you to consider the statistics of one in four women and one in thirty-three men have been the victims of a reported sexual assault. Another set of statistics that may impact on you is that sixty percent of sexual assaults are never reported to law enforcement and ninety-four percent of perpetrators will never spend a night in jail. Although it may not have happened to you, the chances that it has happened to someone you know and love is great. Law enforcement, prosecutors, advocates, counselors, and social workers work together to assist victims to become survivors.

Although you may be one of the very few who doesn’t know anyone who has experienced a sexual assault, it still has an impact on your life. Statistics show that sexual assault is a costly crime to our society. Research performed by Dolezal, McCollum, and Callahan (2009) indicates that sexual violence costs our society 750 billion dollars in health care expenses. Estimates from Delisi (2010) indicate that each rape costs $151,423. Sexual assault interferes with the ability to work and function in society as well as in families. The good news is that we offer services for survivors and that we are also working to prevent sexual violence. In Kentucky this fiscal year, rape crisis program employees have provided 7,288 counseling sessions, 2,649 advocacy services (attending court with a victim, meeting a victim at the hospital), and 2,256 educational programs. All of the advocacy services and educational programs have been provided at no cost. Each victim is also eligible for three free counseling sessions.

We invite you to assist us in raising awareness regarding sexual assault at our Tri-County Conquer 5k Walk/Run on Saturday, March 24th. It will start at 9am at the Gazebo in Corbin. Registration will begin at 8 am. Look for further information in the community announcements section or contact us at 528-5286. For help with sexual assault related issues or to schedule an education program, please contact (800) 656-HOPE or 528-5286.

Cecelia White,

Cumberland River Victims’ Services

Administrative Director

606-528-5286

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