Harrisburg, PA – Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe/Pike) has sponsored a House resolution designating April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. The resolution passed the House unanimously Tuesday.
“I have worked very closely with local sexual assault counseling agencies, and I understand the devastation that a sexual assault can have on an individual, their family, their friends and coworkers,” said Brown.
Sexual violence encompasses a range of unacceptable behaviors, including: rape, incest, molestation, date and acquaintance rape, statutory rape, marital or partner rape, ritual abuse, sexual exploitation, forced prostitution, indecent sexual contact, sexual harassment, exhibitionism and voyeurism.
“We should all be aware that our world is not as safe as it should be,” said Brown. “No person should become a part of these statistics. All of us must take what precautions we can to avoid being victimized. When a crime does occur, we need to ensure that the criminal is punished and cannot harm another person.”
In the United States, an estimated 876,064 adult women and 111,298 adult men each year are subjected to the traumatic experience of being raped. One in five girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted by 18 years of age.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies across the nation indicate that sexual violence is the most underreported crime in the United States, with an average of 31 percent of rape and sexual assault incidents being reported to police.
Brown encouraged people to take action against sexual violence. “We need to unite the efforts of all who work on behalf of victims of sexual violence to educate individuals in preventing it and eliminate sexual crimes in our communities,” said Brown.
The resolution designating the month of April 2011 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month passed 201-0.