According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women in the United States experienced rape or attempted rape during their lifetime.
And nearly a quarter of men in the U.S. experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This campaign aims to increase awareness about the causes and risk factors for sexual assault and empower individuals to take steps to prevent it in their communities.
Sexual harassment, assault, and abuse can happen anywhere, including in online spaces.
Nationwide, 81% of women and 43% of men reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime
About half of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance.
The Arkansas General Assembly continuously reviews ways to strengthen our laws concerning assault and prevention.
In the 2021 Regular Session, we passed Act 431 which broadened the definition of sexual contact as it pertains to sex offenses.
We also passed Act 1102 which requires that a defendant who was at least 18 years of age or older at the time he or she committed certain Class Y felony sex offenses to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole when the victim was less than 14 years of age at the time of the offense.
And we passed Act 1098 which creates the offenses of grooming a minor for future sex trafficking and traveling for the purpose of an unlawful sex act with a minor.
Silence and lack of knowledge about sexual assault plays a huge part of why it still persists. The choice to do something and get involved has made incredible changes in global conversations about sexual violence.
There are many ways you can help.
You can volunteer at a community rape crisis center, organize events to raise awareness, and learn the root cause of sexual violence to advocate for prevention.
I invite you to visit nsvrc.org to learn more.