April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and local events marking the annual effort to increase awareness of sexual violence and foster support for survivors kicks off April 5 with a mayoral proclamation in downtown Tucson.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero will join Pima County Attorney Laura Conover, Tucson Police Department Assistant Chief Monica Prieto, and others for an event at Jacome Plaza outside the Joel D. Valdez Library, 101 N. Stone Ave., to launch the local monthlong campaign, #TucSAAM, supported by the Pima County Attorney’s Office, Tucson Police Department, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault, the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, and the University of Arizona among others.
The event will begin at 9 a.m. with the reading of a mayoral proclamation and comments by local leaders. The event is open to the public and attendees are encouraged to wear the color teal to support survivors and remind the community we must work together to promote awareness and accountability for sexual violence.
The theme of this year’s campaign is “The Truth About Teal,” which aims to dispel myths about sexual assault and provide factual information about the extent of the problem and its impact on survivors.
Those hard truths include:
• Somebody is sexually assaulted in America every 68 seconds
• One out of every six American women has been the victim of attempted or completed rape
• A third of women who are raped contemplate committing suicide
• Two-thirds of all transgender people have been sexually assaulted
• At least one in 33 men has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape
• Less than a third of these crimes are reported to police
“I’m very impressed and excited about the diversity of events spread across our county throughout April,” says Katlyn Monje, Director of the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault. “Through these events, we have a chance to make a broad impact and stop sweeping the difficult conversations about sexual violence under the rug. These are great opportunities to get information to survivors of sexual assault, so they can make decisions for themselves based on empathy and fact, not fear of retaliation or judgment.”
Information about the campaign and upcoming events throughout Sexual Assault Awareness Month can be found at www.tucsaam.com, or on partner organizations’ social media using #TucSAAM.
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