Every two minutes, someone in America is sexually assaulted, 80 percent of them are under the age of 30. An overwhelming percentage of those assaults (80%) are committed by someone the victim knows- a family member, date, neighbor, co-worker or family friend. Date or acquaintance rape is just as serious as stranger rape, but it less likely to be reported by the victim.
The “Start by Believing-Northern Neck Task Force” has launched a public awareness campaign in an effort to decrease and eliminate the cycle of dis-belief of sexual assault claims. By educating the public and changing its response to sexual assault reports made by individuals, a victim’s recovery process can begin sooner.
In 2014, The Haven in Warsaw provided advocacy services to 62 sexual assault survivors, 56 of whom were women and 6 were men. Social scientific research using community samples suggests that only about 5 to 20 percent of victims report the crime to law enforcement. That translates into out of 100 forcible rapes, approximately only 5 to 20 of them will be reported. Because perpetrators attack an average of six times, one failed response can equal five more victims and the cycle continues.
Ruth Micklem, Program Director of The Haven, led a training session for interested citizens on Thursday, February 11 at Rappahannock Community College. This session was the second in a series of public forums, with the goal of seeking volunteers to serve on various committees that include survivor support, media/marketing, fundraising/events and training and outcomes …
Read more in the February 17 edition of the Northumberland Echo.