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Senate Recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

On April 23, the Senate passed, by unanimous consent, a resolution (S. Con. Res. 77) supporting the goals and ideals of “National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.”

Sponsored by Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

  • on average, a person is sexually assaulted in the United States every two-and-a-half minutes;
  • the Department of Justice reports that 191,670 people in the United States were sexually assaulted in 2005;
  • one in six women and one in thirty-three men have been victims of rape or attempted rape;
  •  children and young adults are most at risk of sexual assault, as 44 percent of sexual assault victims are under the age of 18, and 80 percent are under the age of 30;
  •  two-thirds of sexual crimes are committed by persons who are not strangers to the victims;
  •  prevention education programs carried out by rape crisis and women’s health centers have the potential to reduce the prevalence of sexual assault in their communities; and
  •  because of recent advances in DNA technology, law enforcement agencies now have the potential to identify the rapists in tens of thousands of unsolved rape cases.

The resolution recognizes that “it is appropriate to properly acknowledge the more than 20 million men and women who have survived sexual assault in the United States and salute the efforts of survivors, volunteers, and professionals who combat sexual assault” and “public safety, law enforcement, and health professionals should be recognized and applauded for their hard work and innovative strategies to increase the percentage of sexual assault cases that result in the prosecution and incarceration of the offenders.”

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