WASHINGTON, D.C.– This week, Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced a bipartisan congressional resolution alongside 17 of their colleagues recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
“Congress must continue to raise awareness about the dangers of sexual assault. Too many Americans have become victims of this heinous crime,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “This bipartisan resolution will raise awareness regarding the serious issue of sexual violence, emphasize the protection of victims, and show support for survivors so that they can receive the support and justice they deserve.”
“Sexual violence persists in our armed forces, on our college campuses, in our workplaces, and in every corner of America. I have been subjected to this predatory behavior as have many of my colleagues in Congress and their loved ones. No one is immune and we must stop sweeping this epidemic under the proverbial rug,” Rep. Speier said. “Congress must recognize National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month and I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution with Congressman Fitzpatrick, showing that Democrats and Republicans are committed to working across party lines for the benefit of our constituents and country. There is no room for complacency when we know that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 38 men in America will be raped or experience attempted rape in their lifetime. The end of sexual violence can be achieved, we need only to speak out and act together.”
Sexual violence can include acquaintance, stranger, spousal, and gang rape, incest, child sexual abuse, elder sexual abuse, sexual abuse and exploitation of disabled persons and members of the LGBTQ community, commercial sex trafficking, sexual harassment, and stalking.
Studies show that in addition to the number of women and men who will suffer sexual assault in their lifetimes, children and young adults are most at risk of sexual assault and men and women of all racial, social, religious affiliation, age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic groups are affected by this violent epidemic.
Numerous survivor groups and advocates have voiced their support for this initiative along with the strong bipartisan support for this resolution. "Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month is an important opportunity to talk about all the things we can do to reduce sexual violence, hold perpetrators accountable, and support survivors," said RAINN president Scott Berkowitz. "We thank Reps. Speier and Fitzpatrick for their year-round dedication to this issue and to creating a safer nation for all."
Rep. Fitzpatrick has long championed justice for victims of sexual assault and other heinous crimes. This year, Rep. Fitzpatrick led the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2021 and the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act.
If you or someone you know has been impacted by sexual assault, please contact local law enforcement to report this crime. Additional resources are available for survivors. To learn more, contact the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline for safe and confidential help at 800-656-HOPE (4673).