April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April 11, 2019
LANSING – Raising public awareness about sexual assault, and educating communities about how to prevent it, are the center of the national campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Michigan, joining advocates and communities across our state in playing an active role to prevent sexual assault.
"It's crucial that we stand with the thousands of Michiganders who are impacted by sexual assault each year and take steps to prevent sexual assault across the state," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. "We need to work to ensure survivors across the state have the support they need if they choose to reach out for services. I'm committed to working with Director Gordon, my partners in the legislature, and everyone else who wants to spread awareness and prevent sexual assault in their communities."
National statistics show that one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime. Sexual assault is broadly defined as any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent. Michigan State Police statistics indicate that 12,096 sexual assault related offenses were reported to law enforcement in 2017.
"Sexual assault is a pervasive issue that affects every community in our state," said Robert Gordon, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director. "Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a unique opportunity to raise awareness around this critical issue and to empower Michiganders to take an active role in changing our culture and preventing assault from happening in the first place."
Last year the state's first sexual assault hotline was launched, creating 24/7 access to free, anonymous, and confidential counseling services for all survivors. A new resource website, Michigan.gov/voices4, was also established to provide easier access to sexual assault services and resources.
"Everyone has a responsibility to speak up so victims' voices are heard," said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. "I'm incredibly proud of the work our attorneys do to successfully investigate and prosecute sexual assault, whether it is on a highly visible case like Larry Nassar, or the cases happening in communities across our state. This month serves as a reminder of the important work Michigan is doing to put an end to these terrible acts and the resources available to Michiganders to help prevent them."
To view the proclamation, visit Michigan.gov/Whitmer.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault and need to talk with a counselor, call Michigan's 24/7, free and confidential hotline: 855-VOICES4 (855-864-2374).
Resources are also available online at Michigan.gov/voices4