Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Education is Prevention
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
April is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and Ohioans are encouraged to become allies for survivors. Nearly one in five women in the U.S. have experienced rape in their lifetime, as well as one in 71 men.
Gina Patterson, clinical director of OneEighty, a northwest Ohio behavioral-health organization, said calls to their Rape Crisis Center decreased during the pandemic but are now on the rise.
"There was never a doubt in our mind that these crimes were occurring," Patterson pointed out. "And being a small county, we only have about two to three reported rapes a month and last month we had ten reports, which is probably the highest we've ever seen."
Amy Dudley, director of the Center for Survivors of Sexual Violence at the YWCA of Dayton, said they have also had more calls for assistance.
"We have survivors that are calling for something that happened 10, 20, 30 years ago," Dudley noted. "We have survivors that are calling for a something, not even understanding if what happened to them was rape. Reaching out for support is so crucial because that's where the healing comes in."
Dudley emphasized education is prevention, and urged people to learn the signs of sexual violence, what constitutes assault, as well as understand what consent really looks and sounds like, and also how to intervene as a bystander.
Lydia Strauss, outreach coordinator and survivor advocate for the Ohio Sexual Violence Helpline, reported sexual violence occurs in every community throughout the state.
"Survivors come from many different backgrounds, many different situations," Strauss stated. "Many different races, religions; no age is discriminated against. No one is free from sexual violence happening in their community."
Patterson added survivors need to know they are believed, and crisis centers and other organizations are available to provide support 24/7.
"It could be shelter, it could be safety planning, it could be referrals to other places for other assistance," Patterson outlined. "It could be counseling, because if people are assaulted, many times there's post-traumatic stress disorder or depression."
The Ohio Sexual Violence Helpline is 1-844-OHIO-HELP. Other resources are available from the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence.
get more stories like this via email
Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…
Health and Wellness
A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …
The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …
Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …
Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …
A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …
A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…
Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …