In Support of the ``Start By Believing’’ Campaignby Representative Ann Kirkpatrick
Posted on 2015-04-21
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Mrs. KIRKPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, according to the Arizona Department of
Public Safety, there were 1,725 reports of rape or attempted rape in
2012, which is five sexual assaults per day. And in 2014, the U.S.
Department of Justice gave an alarming estimate that as many as 1 in 3
Native American women would be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, a
rate 2.5 times higher than for any other group.
Unfortunately, only 40 percent of sexual assaults are reported, and if the victim is in college that number is cut in half, according to the Justice Department. Research and information from Pennsylvania State University and a 2010 U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing found that the top reason sexual assault victims do not report the crime is their fear of not being believed and being blamed for the attack.
To address this issue, End Violence Against Women International has developed a program titled ``Start By Believing,'' a message that confronts the reality that many victims do not get the support they need when they report the crime. Local governments, private businesses, universities and colleges across the country are participating in the Start By Believing campaign.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and I encourage people everywhere to share this simple message of support for survivors of sexual assault.
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