April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office is joining other agencies throughout the state to promote awareness about sexual violence and its prevention.
"No one person can eliminate sexual violence on his or her own," said Kim Bishop-Jones, Lawrence County victims advocate. "It takes a community of committed individuals to make a significant impact. The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office invites the community to join us this month, and year-round, in taking a stand against sexual violence."
The U.S. Department of Justice reports that one in six women have reported being raped at some point in her life, and one in 33 men have reported a rape. Of these, at least 80 percent are committed by someone the victim knows, including a former intimate partner.
In Missouri, more than 1,426 rapes were reported to law enforcement in 2010. Yet, only about 20 percent of sexual assault survivors report the crime to law enforcement.
For more information on Sexual Assault Awareness Month, contact the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office at 417-466-2131, ext. 2338, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Confidential help is also available to victims of sexual assault through the crisis hotline at 417-489-2351.