Sexual assault awareness is becoming a huge problem in every community.
Early last month, Zonta members welcomed staff of the YWCA Greater Lafayette to learn more about the work of the Sexual Assault Advocate office in Clinton County.
Then at noon on Friday, Frankfort Mayor and Zontian member Judy Sheets, along with YWCA and other local advocates, joined on the Clinton County Courthouse lawn as she proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month here in Frankfort.
“As I said in my proclamation, it takes all of us working together,” said Sheets. “There are many organizations. There’s churches. There’s all sorts of people in the community that are involved in this. I think it’s important that we keep in mind that these things are still happening. But, we are doing what we can do to prevent those.”
Sheets was one of three speakers at the event. The others were Ashley Carter, Assistant Director for the Heartford House Child Advocacy Center in Lafayette and Bree Palmer, who is a local advocate.
According to the American Medical Association (AMA), sexual assault continues to represent the most rapidly growing violent crime in America, claiming a victim every 45 seconds. Because many of these attacks occurring daily go unreported and unrecognized, sexual assault can be considered a “silent-violent epidemic” in the United States today.
Stewart said they are working as hard as they can to see this problem go away.
“The prevention that we are trying to do, I would like to see the numbers of child abuse and neglect go down,” said Carter. “We’d like to see our numbers of cases just go away.
“I would really like to see the number of cases go down and the number of families that participate with us go up,” she continued. “This day is about trying to prevent those cases from happening.”
Carter said the number of their cases are going down — from over 800 in 2021 to 740 in 2022.
Sheets says she is happy with the way things are going in Frankfort.
“I see all organizations working together and I think it really has been successful in our community,” said Sheets. “I want it to keep moving forward in the same way.”
Following the speakers, the guests which gathered were all given blue pinwheels, who then planted them on the west side of the courthouse. The pinwheels are a symbol for the group,
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