UTAH (ABC4) – April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month for the Dixie State University Police Department, and on Friday, they are shedding light on prevention.
According to the team, sexual assault is defined as any form of forced or coerced sexual contact without consent. Officials say every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
“It is also estimated that only 15.8% to 35% of sexual assaults are reported, making it the least reported violent crime,” shares Sonja Blea, the administrative assistant for events services and risk management at DSU.
The University and local authorities hope that as they continue to spread awareness for the month of April, rising cases will reduce and surrounding communities will become more educated on the matter.
In order to better spread acknowledgment, the Dixie State University Police Department say have partnered up with the DOVE Center.
“April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We partner with DOVE Center to best serve survivors of sexual assault and our community,” shares Dixie State law enforcement on Facebook.
The organizations have placed signs, which are also available for purchase for $10, around campus to show support for survivors.
“If you’ve been around Dixie State University’s campus lately, you may have walked by one of these amazing signs DOVE created for #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth,” the center shares.
Anyone interested in giving support is asked to visit app.donorview.com/v6pz6 to purchase a sign and designate in the memo field that your donation is for a yard sign.
According to local authorities, citizens are urged to #StartByBelieving and learn more on the matter.
“Myths and misconceptions surrounding sexual assault continue to perpetuate a harmful culture of victim blaming. In order to take a stand against rape and sexual assault and continue to make societal changes, we must address these myths and misconceptions,” informs the DOVE Center. “While this conversation can seem uncomfortable, it is a necessary conversation to have. So get uncomfortable and learn why it’s so important to start by believing survivors.”
On April 23, the Dixie State University Police Department and DOVE Center share 14 sexual assault statistics courtesy of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition.
- Every nine minutes, child protective services substantiate or find evidence for a claim of child sexual abuse.
- One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
- One in 33 American men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
- Eight out of ten rapes are committed by someone known to the victim.
- Rape is the only violent crime for which Utah’s rate is higher than the national average.
- 94% of women who have been raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress during the two weeks following the instance.
- Rates of false reporting of sexual assault are the same for all other crimes: 2% to 8%.
- Of all sexual abuse cases reported to law enforcement, 93% of juvenile victims knew the perpetrator.
- In 2020 Utah’s local Children’s Justice Center staffed 303 allegations of child sexual abuse and assault.
- Native American women are 2.5 to 3.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault compared to the statistics of all other races.
- Approximately 60% of Black girls experience sexual abuse by the age of 18.
- An estimated 80,600 inmates each year experience sexual violence while in prison or jail.
- One in two transgender individuals are sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.
- According to a compilation of studies, between 21% to 55% of Asian women report experiencing intimate physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime.
Despite statistics being so high, the Dixie State University Police Department is advising the public to not take alarm.
“You are not alone,” they share. “Help is available.”
According to the department, there is a 24 hour helpline open to the public courtesy of their community partner, DOVE Center.
If you are in need of help and are a victim of sexual assault, the police department asks you to visit dovecenter.org or call 435-628-0458.
For more information the public is also invited to visit Publicsafety.Dixie.edu