The statistic is nearly one in five women in the US and one in 71 men have been victims of rape at some point in their lives. That is why Pennsylvania has a program designated to prevent sexual violence.
This week, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced it had been granted $1.2 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program.
PA Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine says, “Sexual violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion or appearance. It has a tremendous impact on everyone involved.”
As part of the program, the State’s Department of Health works with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, Dr. Levine says, “To provide sexual violence prevention and education to communities, to schools, and other groups, to decrease the prevalence of sexually violent acts and educate our communities on healthy behaviors.”
Chief Public Affairs Officer for the PA Coalition Against Rape, Kristen Houser, says, “This funding is critical… With the growing awareness that we’ve had over the past several years about how prevalant sexual abuse is, the demand from communities who want good prevention education information has only increased.”
The money from the CDC will allow training and technical assistance to be provided to dozens of rape crisis centers across the state that helps victims of assault.
The program also provides age-appropriate education to students of all ages in an effort to stomp out sexual violence before it happens.
Houser says, “Good prevention is a lifelong thing. It’s not a one-time talk that you have with your kids or a one hour program. This really needs to be messaging that we repeat throughout the lifetime.”