As a resident of Renton, I am writing to thank and commend Mayor Denis Law and council for supporting survivors of sexual assault by proclaiming April Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
I’m proud that Renton joins communities throughout King County and the nation in prioritizing the needs of survivors and ending sexual violence in all forms.
Sexual violence affects individuals, families, and entire communities. In Washington state, 45 percent of women and 22 percent of men report they have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime, according to the Sexual Violence Prevention Plan, state Department of Health Injury and Violence Prevention 2017.
Nationally, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
In 2017, more than 6,600 adults and children sought services from accredited sexual assault resource centers in King County, according to the Office of Crime Victim Advocacy, Washington State Department of Commerce.
I believe that one day, working together, we can end this scourge. We’ve recently reached an important turning point: more and more, survivors are coming forward to report their assault. Knowing that they will be supported, and that abuse won’t be tolerated empowers survivors. It’s only common sense that when we empower survivors, we help stop perpetration.
That is why it’s so powerful when community leaders make a public commitment to stand with survivors.
Help is available for anyone who has experienced sexual abuse or needs information. The nonprofit King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC) operates a 24-hour Resource Line, at 1-888-99-VOICE, and offers a wealth of resources on its website, www.kcsarc.org.