April 2017: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Sexual Assault Awareness Month is intended to draw attention to the fact that sexual violence is widespread and impacts every community; and,

WHEREAS, sexual assault is broadly defined as any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion; and, 

WHEREAS, rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment impact our community as seen by statistics indicating that one in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives; and,

WHEREAS, a 2007 campus sexual assault study by the U.S. Department of Justice found that around 1 in 5 women are targets of attempted or completed sexual assault while they are college students, as are about 1 in 16 college men; and,

WHEREAS, child sexual abuse prevention must be a priority to confront the reality that one in six boys and one in four girls will experience sexual assault before age 18; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan State Police statistics indicate that 10,753 sexual assault related offenses were reported to law enforcement in 2015; and,

WHEREAS, sexual violence can deeply and enduringly impact survivors on psychological, emotional, physical and social levels; and,

WHEREAS, access to informed and supportive services can greatly increase survivors’ ability to heal from sexual assault; and,

WHEREAS, our state and individual communities must be committed to holding sexual assault perpetrators accountable for their heinous crimes; and,

WHEREAS, we must work together to educate our community about sexual violence prevention, supporting survivors and speaking out against harmful attitudes and actions;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2017 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Michigan.