April 2018 will be Sexual Assault Awareness Month throughout the Commonwealth.
HARRISBURG, PA, March 29, 2018 – The Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed a resolution authored by Sen. Christine Tartaglione this week declaring April 2018 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month throughout the Commonwealth. In her March 26 remarks from the Senate floor, Tartaglione described sexual assault and violence as a “pervasive epidemic that affects all of us.”
“Nearly one in five women and one in 71 men in the United States have experienced rape or attempted rape sometime in their lives,” Sen. Tartaglione said. “Additionally, 44 percent of women and 23 percent of men have experienced other forms of sexual violence during their lives, including sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact and other non-contact sexual experiences.”
The theme for this year’s observance is “Embrace Your Voice,” a slogan that recognizes and reflects the burgeoning #MeToo movement. Sen. Tartaglione encouraged survivors to speak out about their experiences and to seek help in overcoming the lifelong trauma resulting from sexual assault. She also spoke of the need for communities to educate themselves about prevention.
Here is the full text of Sen. Tartaglione’s remarks:
“Today I offer this resolution to bring awareness to an important issue in the state, Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual assault is a pervasive epidemic that affects all of us. Nearly one in five women and one in 71 men in the United States have experienced rape or attempted rape sometime in their lives. Additionally, 44 percent of women and 23 percent of men have experienced other forms of sexual violence during their lives, including sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact and other non-contact sexual experiences.
“Of the 20 percent of women and 1.7 percent of men that have been sexually assaulted during their lifetimes, nearly 80 percent of women were assaulted before the age of 25, with forty percent of them experiencing their first rape between the ages of 11 and 17. And 28 percent of men were first raped before their 10th birthday.
“We need to act to stop this violence now. We all have a responsibility to help prevent sexual assault. We must work together to educate our communities about sexual assault prevention. The more we talk about sexual assault, and the more educated people become about it, the better chance we have to prevent it. Every one of us can make a difference in someone’s life by teaching people how to recognize the signs of sexual abuse and what to do when someone is attacked.
“Therefore, I ask my colleagues for support to combat sexual violence, to take steps to prevent it, and to help survivors seek counseling to overcome the lifelong trauma resulting from sexual assault. Thanks to organizations like Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, these efforts are already underway. This year’s theme is ‘Embrace Your Voice,’ which encourages every person to speak out against sexual violence in all forms and to find ways to prevent it in our communities.”
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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact William Kenny at 215-533-0440 or email at William.Kenny@pasenate.com.