April 2021: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

WHEREAS, sexual assault is broadly defined as one or more persons choosing to use force, threat of force, intimidation, manipulation, and/or coercion to obtain any form of unwanted sexual contact with another person; and,


WHEREAS, Sexual Assault Awareness Month recognizes the strength and courage of those who have survived sexual assault or abuse; and,


WHEREAS, the goal of Sexual Assault Awareness Month is to raise public awareness around the impact of sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it; and,


WHEREAS, survivors of sexual assault are represented in every Michigan community as well as sexual orientation, religion, ability, age, and gender identity; and, 


WHEREAS, 2019 Michigan State Police statistics indicate that over 13,000 sexual offenses were reported to law enforcement; and,


WHEREAS, about seven in ten perpetrators of sexual assault know their victim; and,


WHEREAS, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in 16 men reported being sexually assaulted while in college; and,


WHEREAS, approximately one in nine girls and one in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult; and,


WHEREAS, sexual violence often has a deep and enduring impact on survivors and their psychological, emotional, social, and physical health; and,


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


WHEREAS, we join with the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and sexual assault prevention advocates to acknowledge the importance of working together to educate our communities about sexual violence prevention, support survivors, and speak out against harmful attitudes and actions;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2021 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Michigan.