Nevada's First Lady, AlertID and McGruff team up for Sexual Assault Awareness Month
The National Crime Prevention Council (home to McGruff the Crime Dog), Nevada first lady Kathleen Sandoval and AlertID founder Keli Wilson have teamed to raise awareness and offer resources for victims in commemoration of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April).
A sexual assault occurs every two seconds in the U.S. While both men and women are susceptible to becoming victims of sexual violence, a CDC survey revealed one in five U.S. women have been raped during their lifetime and one in two have encountered some form of sexual violence.
"As a community, we must support victims of sexual violence, as well as focus on prevention," said Sandoval, the Children's Cabinet director of operations.
Unfortunately, sexual assault incidents are reported less frequently than any other violent crime, as only a small percentage of victims are willing to step forward to report their experience and involve the criminal justice process.
"When a person is victimized by crime, we must employ the necessary local resources to help law enforcement apprehend the person responsible and to support the victims," National Crime Prevention Council President and CEO Ann M. Harkins said.
They said protecting oneself by being informed about the dangers in one's area and understanding preventative measures are critical to prevent victimization.
"Information is power," Wilson said. "The more we are aware of the dangers in our neighborhoods and the more proactive we are, the better we can protect ourselves and our families."
The National Crime Prevention Council and AlertID offer the following tips to help protect women from becoming victims:
Be aware of your surroundings - Become a member of AlertID for free at www.AlertID.com to stay informed of sex offenders and receive current crime alerts and warnings from neighbors.
Avoid walking or jogging alone, particularly at night. - Additionally, vary your route and stay in well-traveled, well-lighted areas.
Walk with confidence - The more confident you look, the stronger you appear.
Be wary of isolated spots - Mind your surrounds in underground garages, offices after business hours, and apartment laundry rooms.
Have your key ready to use before you reach the door - This includes home, car or work.
Drive on well-traveled streets with doors and windows locked.
Trust your instincts - If you feel uncomfortable in your surroundings, leave the area immediately.
In the event you have car trouble, call for help - Use your cell phone or, if you don't have a phone, put the hood up, set road flares, lock the doors, turn on the hazard lights and wait for a public service worker to assist you.
For more prevention tips and resource information on sexual assault from AlertID, developed in conjunction with the National Crime Prevention Council, visit: http://alertid.com/search/sex-crimes.asp
Victim support resources are especially important functions of the recovery process for all survivors of sexual violence. If you are sexually assaulted, it is not your fault. Don't be afraid to ask for help or support.
Resources for Victims:
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network: 1-800-656-HOPE
Rape Crisis Center: www.rcclv.org or 702-366-1640