Alaska’s Governor, Sean Parnell, and leaders from Alaska’s domestic violence and sexual assault prevention network, are taking a stand against domestic violence and sexual victimization. We all need to encourage our leaders to follow in Alaska’s footsteps by speaking out, raising awareness, and initiating action toward preventing domestic violence, and the sexual violence of women, men and children.
The statistics in Alaska are alarming. In the words from a recent speech by Governor Parnell:
“Most of these crimes are not committed by strangers, but by friends, relatives, parents and caregivers. Adults whom victims are supposed to love and trust. Adults who are supposed to be protectors and care givers.
That’s why this will come as no surprise to you: The Justice Center at the University of Alaska Anchorage just completed a comprehensive victimization survey. Here are the results in a nutshell: Nearly 60 percent of Alaska women have either been sexually assaulted, physically assaulted or significantly threatened in their lifetime. That’s not just 60 percent of women in Anchorage, Adak and Angoon. It is 60 percent of Alaska’s daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunties. These women are day care providers, dental technicians and directors. They are managers and teachers. They are artists and business owners. They are women in our houses of worship. They are our neighbors.
I hope this makes you uncomfortable, because it certainly has that effect on me. What’s more: 60 percent is thought to be a conservative number! Often victims feel too much shame to even admit they were abused. We were not created to be abusers nor to be abused. And yet, when we have this level of abuse – one out of every two-or-three women – we must act.
It’s not just women, of course. STAR says 10 percent of the rape victims they see are boys or men. 30 percent of the children seen at Alaska’s child advocacy centers are boys. WE MUST STOP THE ABUSE, EXPLOITATION AND MALTREATMENT OF OUR CHILDREN.” (The Governor’s full speech can be found at: http://www.thegovmonitor.com/world_news/united_states/governor-parnell-outlines-importance-of-public-safety-in-alaska-46464.html )
Governor Parnell goes on to quote the devastating costs to the individual and society, and the cost to tax payers. But he doesn’t stop there. Outreach, collaborative efforts, education, training leaders, and services for victims are being enforced in Alaska. Let’s keep an eye on what they are doing.
During Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, our documentaries, Boys and Men Healing and The Healing Years, films about healing from childhood sexual abuse, will be broadcast on Alaska’s PBS station, KTOO/360 North primetime. The Healing Years, an acclaimed film about women survivors healing from child sexual abuse, will be broadcast Tuesday, April 19th at 8pm, and Boys and Men Healing, our new film about male survivors of sexual abuse will air April 26 at 9pm with a repeat on May 1st at 9pm.
This powerful message by Governor Parnell will introduce each broadcast: