Every 73 seconds an American is sexually assaulted, 1 in four girls and 1 in six boys will be victimized before their 18th birthdays, and 1 in 6 women are the victim of attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. In most cases, the perpetrator is someone the victim knows. The consequences can be devastating, long-lasting, and life-altering.
To help raise awareness of the extent of sexual abuse, Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron recently signed a proclamation in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and to bring attention to this public health and safety crisis, recognize survivors, and call on community leadership in prevention efforts. And for the first time in history the county courthouse will light up teal, the nationally recognized color for Sexual Assault Awareness.
“The goal of Sexual Assault Awareness Month is to raise visibility about sexual assault and share how it can be prevented,” said Kara Mischke, Community Relations Manager with the local Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center (DVSAC). “We are elated and encouraged by the support of our local county government support this year.”
At the DVSAC victims and survivors of sexual assault have access to 24/7 crisis support, onsite sexual assault forensic examinations (Medical Rape Exams), counseling, Order of Protection assistance, and all encompassing, supportive victim advocacy during all services rendered and police investigations. All of the services at the DVSAC are free of charge.
“We are here to help these victims become survivors,” said Rachel Smith, Sexual Assault Advocate with the DVSAC. “Sexual assault exists in every income bracket, every sexual preference, every religion, every education level. It does not discriminate. During this month, and throughout the year my hope is that survivors everywhere feel seen, heard, and supported.”
The Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center (DVSAC) reports an average of 200 individuals and families seeking their healing and protective services each month. A number which continues to grow year after year. The center relies on grants, fundraisers, and monetary giving to operate and serve the Rutherford County Community.
To learn more about the DVSAC and available services for local victims, visit the center’s website www.dvsacenter.org or follow on social media @DVSAcenter.
ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & SEXUAL ASSAULT CENTER
The DVSAC specializes in free healing and protective services including 24-hour crisis support, emergency shelter, sexual assault services and counseling. Now serving the Rutherford County community for 35 years, the center stays true to its mission to protect victims, prevent violence, and empower survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.