The Bell Fiscal Court signed a proclamation declaring March “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” in Bell County. Sheryl Caudel, victims advocate in Bell County, was at the regular meeting on Tuesday to discuss sexual assault to those in attendance.
According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men.
“That is a ridiculous number,” said Caudel in reference to the amount of people affected by sexual assault.
In Kentucky, 8 percent of citizens report experiencing rape in their lifetime. This is 2 percent higher than the national average. Teens are part of the highest risk age group for sexual assault.
“There are many opportunities for us as parents, citizens and community members to talk to teens about boundaries and safety,” said Caudel. “We know the keys to prevention is awareness and education.”
“When we speak out, we are making it clear that sexual assault is a crime,” said Caudel through a press release given at the meeting. “We are encouraging reporting and we are clarifying what consent means.”
If an individual needs assistance or more information, call the Bell County Victim Advocate at 606-392-1129.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-248-1010, ext. 208, firstname.lastname@example.org