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Child Abuse Prevention & Awareness Month
and Sexual Assault Awareness Month
by Patti Fay Hickox and Gwendolyn Elliott


April 08, 2004

April is National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

In 2003 in Southeast Alaska there were 1,009 Reports of Neglect, 421 reports of Physical Abuse, 129 Reports of Sexual Abuse, and 182 Reports of Mental Injury of Children. That is a total of 1,742 reports of Child Abuse in Southeast Alaska. The total for the whole state in reported child abuse is 15,462. These totals come from Family Service Child Reports of Harm that can be found on the RID Alaska of Child Abuse Web-page.

RID Alaska of Child Abuse is a grass root effort started in Kenai Alaska in 1999. Two women concerned about child abuse in our state made 1000 Mint Green Ribbons with little Forget-Me-Nots in the center and distributed them throughout the Kenai Peninsula. This caught on in Anchorage, and now we have the Mint Green Ribbon Campaign to promote awareness of Child Abuse from Barrow to Ketchikan. Please wear a mint green ribbon to show your support and that you care about children here in the state of Alaska, our nation, and world-wide. You can find them at local merchants and agencies throughout the month.

April is additionally Sexual Assault Awareness month. The following is an excerpt from the Executive Proclamation of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month by Frank H. Murkowski: Sexual Violence is one of the United States fastest growing crimes It is an even bigger issue in Alaska, where the rate of reported rape is 2.5 times greater than the national average. For Native women, the rate is 3.5 times higher than the national average. Alaska s rate of child sexual abuse is six times the national average. Alaska has not dropped below fifth in the nation for reported rapes per 100,000 residents since 1976, and has ranked first in the nation 19 of the past 26 years.

Please take a minute to visit our awareness tables at Carrs and Walmart on Saturday and Sunday, April 24th and 25th, and come down to the tunnel on April 20th for a rally in recognition of these issues. For more information, call Women in Safe Homes at 225.9474.

Patti Fay Hickox and
Gwendolyn Elliott
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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