April is sexual assault awareness month

Sarah Champoux, lead sexual assault advocate for Crisis Intervention Services, places teal ribbons on trees around the courthouse Tuesday morning.

Sigourney, Iowa- As temperatures slowly begin to warm up and the spring fully arrives, teal ribbons will be popping up on trees around the Keokuk County Courthouse. Those ribbons are being placed to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sarah Champoux, lead sexual assault advocate for Crisis Intervention Services, said that the goal this month is simply to raise awareness on the issue.

 

“What we try to do is we try to spread even more awareness in the various counties that we serve,” Champoux said.

 

Champoux said that Sigourney Mayor Dan Glandon recently signed a proclamation recognizing the month. She added that a display at the Sigourney Public Library will be going up later in April to challenge a decades-old notion about sexual assault.

 

“It’s kind of a tangible response to the myth of ‘oh they were wearing a short skirt, maybe they wanted to be assaulted or they wanted somebody to engage sexually towards them’ but it shows just kind of different outfits- men, women, and children- and what their stories were and what they were wearing [when they were assaulted],” Champoux said.

 

According to statistics from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 1 in 5 women have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lives. 1 in 33 men have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lives. 1 in 4 girls under the age of 18 have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lives. 1 in 6 boys under the age of 18 have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lives. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.

 

For more on this story, catch the April 18 edition of the News-Review.