BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – Each April, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho join survivors, advocates and communities nationwide to observe National Awareness Month and prevention of sexual assault.
The office said that sexual violence is far too prevalent and that it is important not only to raise awareness of the myriad forms of sexual violence, but also to engage in meaningful prevention efforts, take steps to hold responsible offenders and caring for survivors of trauma. informed way.
U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr. joins the Department of Justice and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) in applauding the recent passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2022 (VAWA 2022), which treats sexual assault as the seriousness it is a violation and creates new programs and initiatives that provide survivors of sexual violence with increased access to services and justice.
One such program is the Violence Against Women Tribal Special Assistant US Attorney (SAUSA) program, which designates tribal attorneys as SAUSAs to assist tribes and US attorneys’ offices in investigating and prosecuting assault cases. sexual abuse, domestic and dating violence, stalking, and certain sex trafficking offences. VAWA 2022 also expands the reach of survivors in underserved communities by improving access to sexual assault forensic examinations for survivors in rural areas, providing community-specific services for LGBT survivors, and restoring jurisdiction of tribes to prosecute non-Indian perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence. trafficking, among some other offenses committed on tribal lands.
“This year, as we in Idaho recognize Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, we recommit to victims of sexual assault to do everything in our power to help them. support and bring justice to them,” U.S. Attorney Gonzalez said. “Victims of sexual assault are not alone, we in the law enforcement community stand with them. Absolutely no one should live in fear of being sexually assaulted or facing retaliation for having reported a sexual assault.”
“During Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and each month, OVW-funded programs across the country provide essential services to survivors of sexual assault, addressing their needs, helping them heal and supporting them in their quest for justice,” said OVW Senior Deputy Director Allison Randall. “The impact of sexual violence is felt by the whole community and can devastate the lives of survivors, which is why it is essential that VAWA 2022 not only strengthens services and justice interventions, but also prevention. ”
If you or someone you know is experiencing or has experienced sexual violence, you are not alone and there are many services available to help you, including the Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656 -HOPE (4673), and the StrongHearts Native Helpline, 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483). Additionally, you can find a local resources page on the OVW website, which lists state sexual assault coalitions that can direct you to local resources and services, as well as opportunities to get involved.