Commissioners proclaimed April Sexual Assault Awareness Month Thursday at their regular meeting. Pictured, from left, are commission president Sam Nolte, Addie Helmick with Women's Aid in Crisis, commissioner Kristie Tenney and commissioner Terry Cutright.

Women’s Aid in Crisis: Consequences of sexual assault are numerous, dire for victims

BUCKHANNON – April was proclaimed Sexual Assault Awareness Month at Thursday’s Upshur County Commission meeting.

Addie Helmick with Women’s Aid in Crisis said 1 in 6 American women and 1 in 33 American men experience an attempt or completed rape in their lifetime, according to the National Institute of Justice and Centers of Disease Control Prevention.

“According to the U.S Bureau of Justice, 15 percent of victims of sexual assault and rape are under the age of 12, and I’m pretty sure that percentage is rising,” Helmick said. “Victims of sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression, six times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs and four times more likely to commit suicide.”

She said sexual assault is one of the most under-reported crimes, and seven out of 10 cases are committed by someone the victim knows.

In other county news:

  • The commission approved a request from Amanda Craig and Christine Hamner, Rock Cave PTO President, requesting the donation of pool passes for their annual bingo fundraiser to be held May 4.
  • The commission approved FY 19 Court Security Grant Application, Resolution and Assurance requesting the amount of $53,751 to purchase one additional camera, six mobile radios, six tasers and shatterproof film for the Courthouse Annex Foyer and Courthouse foyer doors.
  • The commission approved the FY 19 Victim of Crime Act Victim Assistance Grant Application, Standard Conditions and Assurances, for victim advocate services.
  • The commission approved the FY 20 WV Community Corrections Grant Program Application requesting the amount of $412,695 to be used to provide alternate sentencing and re-entry services for eligible offenders.
  • The commission approved granting leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

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