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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          April 15, 2013                   

FEDERAL, CITY, AND LOCAL OFFICIALS UNVEIL DECAL FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH

Law enforcement vehicles to display “End Sexual Abuse” teal decals throughout the month of April

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin, members of the law enforcement community, and REACH Rape Crisis Program advocates gathered today at the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse in Charleston to unveil a special magnetic decal in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The ceremony was held in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, which is recognized nationally during the month of April. 

“Sexual assault and rape are terrible crimes that affect people of every age and background,” said U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, “These acts damage the lives of their victims irrevocably.  Entire families can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye.  Victims often spend the rest of their lives trying to pick up the broken pieces.”

During today’s ceremony, U.S. Attorney Goodwin said that the magnetic decals are small, yet enormously symbolic.  “The magnetic decals symbolize our collective commitment to fighting sexual assault.”

According to statistics, nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives, representing approximately 22 million women and 1.6 million men.  When all types of sexual violence are included, the number grows to nearly half of all women and one in five men experiencing sexual violence in their lifetime.

Statistics further reveal that child sexual abuse affects over one quarter of the national population. It is estimated that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused by age 18.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia is committed to prosecuting individuals who sexually exploit children, and also works diligently to identify and rescue victims as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. 

U.S. Attorney Goodwin said, “Behind every piece of child pornography traded over the Internet, there is a child somewhere who has been exploited in the most heinous way imaginable. People who download these pictures encourage that exploitation, and I will be relentless in prosecuting them.”

The magnetic decals unveiled at today’s ceremony will be prominently displayed on law enforcement vehicles and cruisers throughout the month of April.  

For more information on the “End Sexual Abuse” magnetic ribbons or how they can be obtained, please contact REACH director Marla Willcox Eddy at: meddy@familycounselingconnection.org or 304-340-3676. 

Photo: U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin led today's unveiling ceremony held at the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse. The teal decal was created in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness month.

SAAM decal unveiling

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