AUBURN, Ala. (EETV)- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one in five women and one in 71 men reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives. Approximately two out of three sexual assaults are not reported to police, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.
Sexual violence is a devastating national and statewide problem that impacts the lives of many women, men, and children each year. Nationally, every 98 seconds someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. In Alabama, 5.4 rapes are reported daily.
Sexual violence is not only a health concern, but it also greatly impacts the economy. According to a study conducted by the CDC, the combined direct and indirect costs of sexual violence in the United States were estimated to be $3.1 trillion over the lifetime of all victims. This estimate includes medical costs, lost work productivity for victims and perpetrators, criminal justice activities, and property loss or damages. Approximately $1 trillion of the costs are paid by the government.
In the United States, April has been designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The month is dedicated to raising public awareness about sexual violence and educating communities on how to prevent it. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is partnering with the Alabama Coalition Against Rape (ACAR) to unveil Alabama’s own campaign, “Alabama Goes Teal,” to increase statewide awareness about sexual violence and to engage the general public regarding prevention options and victim services. On April 13, employees of ADPH and others are invited to wear teal in observance of “Alabama Goes Teal."
“The observance is a great way to raise awareness, provide resources for help, and educate the community,” Kimberly Love, executive director of ACAR, said. “’Alabama Goes Teal” will be a reminder to victim survivors that they are not alone and a clarion call to the community that we must eradicate sexual violence in Alabama.”
Help is available for victims of sexual violence. In addition to contacting a law enforcement agency and seeking help at a hospital, victims can contact one of the rape crisis centers in their area or call 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE) to be connected to the nearest center.