April 2019: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

WHEREAS, sexual assault is widespread and experienced by thousands of people and survivors. Sexual Assault Awareness Month is intended to raise public awareness around sexual violence and its impact, as well as educate communities on how to prevent it; 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, the effects of rape and sexual assault can ripple throughout a community, as seen by statistics indicating that one in five women and one in 59 men will be raped at some point in their lives; and,

WHEREAS, according to one study, one in five women and one in sixteen men reported being sexually assaulted while in college; and,

WHEREAS, child sexual abuse prevention must be a priority to confront the reality that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan State Police statistics indicate that 12,096 sexual assault related offenses were reported to law enforcement in 2017; 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 join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and sexual assault prevention advocates to acknowledge how important it is to work together to educate our communities about sexual violence prevention, support survivors, and speak out against harmful attitudes and actions;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan do hereby proclaim April 2019 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Michigan.