April: Sexual abuse awareness month

In Kansas, sexual assault affects about 3,000 women and 900 men each year.

According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation:

• Every 8 hours, one rape is reported.

• 78 percent of perpetrators know their victims.

As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence urges all Kansans to strengthen their efforts to provide safety and support for victims and accountability for perpetrators in their community.

All Kansans can do something to support victims and end sexual violence in their community:

• Attend a sexual assault awareness event in your community. Find an event at kcsdv.org.

• Know the Kansas crisis hot line number: (888) END-ABUSE.

• Be familiar with sexual and domestic violence advocacy organizations serving your community and be ready to make a referral. Find a program near you at kcsdv.org.

• Donate to or volunteer at your local advocacy program.

In Lawrence, there are two:

• GaDuGi Safe Center, through Headquarters Counseling Center: 841-2345.

On April 17, GaDuGi will host a “Night of Women’s Work” beginning at 7 p.m. at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H. The evening begins with a reception and viewing of arts and crafts, followed by the performance at 7:30 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $10 for the event.

In addition, GaDuGi will host a three-day event, starting April 26, to train police officers, paramedics, social workers and prosecutors on how to interview children who have survived a sexual assault and prepare them for court by working as a multidisciplinary team.

• The Willow Domestic Violence Center: 770-3030 or 843-3333.

Between July 2007 and June 2008, 23 sexual and domestic violence advocacy organizations in Kansas reported:

• 45,000 crisis hot line calls

• 23,000 victims served

• 44,000 counseling hours provided

• 1,700 victims who needed medical assistance

• 2,800 victims sheltered

• 62,900 number of nights that victims and their families spent in shelter and transitional housing