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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Published: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 11:20 a.m. CDT

Many of us know someone who has been sexually assaulted. After all, one in five women and one in 33 men experience rape, and 60,000 children each year are victims of sexual abuse, according to the Iowa Department of Human Rights.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It’s a national effort to raise awareness about sexual assault, promote survivor support and solidarity, and celebrate consent. This is also a time to consider how we can better fight sexual assault and assist victims.

Bills in the Iowa House and Senate can help. Senate File 401/House File 375 would allow survivors of sexual assault to get a sexual abuse civil protective order to keep abusers away from them. This has been a long-time priority of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Currently, only victims of domestic violence and elder abuse can go to court to get a protective order that requires abusers to stay away from them, their home and their place of work. In sexual abuse cases, criminal charges are not always filed against perpetrators, so victims often need a protective order to help them feel safe.

Contact Sen. Chaz Allenat 641-521-6297or chaz.allen@legis.iowa.gov

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