April is Sexual Assault Awareness (and Prevention) Month, and President Obama has officially acknowledged and recognized it. In his Proclamation on April 8th, he said (Bold emphasis mine):
Sexual assault scars the lives of millions in the United States. To increase awareness about this issue, prevent future crimes, and aid victims, this month we mark National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Sexual assault is pervasive in the United States. Study after study has shown that this crime impacts people at all age levels and in every part of this Nation. One recent study found that 18 percent of women in this country have been raped in their lifetime. In addition, rates of sexual assault remain startlingly high for students from high school to college. A 2005 survey of high school students found that 10.8 percent of girls and 4.2 percent of boys from grades nine to twelve were forced to have sexual intercourse at some time in their lives. A study of college women found that 13.7 percent of undergraduate women had been victims of at least one completed sexual assault since entering college. Unlike victims of sexual assault in the larger community, students victimized by other students often face additional challenges in a “closed” campus environment. For example, a victim may continue to live in danger if the perpetrator resides in the same dormitory or attends the same classes. These statistics are all the more alarming given that, according to recent research, a majority of victims do not report their attacks to police.
…To make continued progress, my Administration supports efforts to help Americans better understand this issue. Working together, we can reduce the incidence of sexual assault and help all who have experienced this heinous crime. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2009, as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I urge all Americans to respond to sexual assault by creating policies at work and school, by engaging in discussions with family and friends, and by making the prevention of sexual assault a priority in their communities.
Thank you Obama! It’s great to have a president who finally cares! And now the Gender Blenders urge you all, like Obama does, to engage in discussions with family and friends about sexual violence and work together as a community to effectively address and prevent sexual violence.