April, 2015: 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, Child sexual abuse prevention must be a priority to confront the reality that one in six boys and one in four girls will experience a sexual assault before the age 18; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan State Police statistics indicate that 11,873 sexual assault related offences were reported to law enforcement in 2013; 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 hold 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 2015 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Michigan.