Fashion Statement

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a nationally recognized time dedicated to raising awareness about and promoting prevention of sexual violence. During this month, ALIVE — Alternatives to Living in Violent Environments — will be joining with people throughout the state and the nation to focus the public’s attention on this important issue.

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that one in six women has been raped at some time in her life and one in 33 men has been raped at some point in his life. Of these assaults, at least 80 percent are committed by someone the victim knows, including a current or former intimate partner.

In Missouri alone, more than 1,426 rapes were reported to law enforcement in 2011. These statistics leave little doubt that most Americans know at least one sexual assault survivor. Yet, only about 20 percent of survivors report the violent crime of sexual assault to police.

“No one person can eliminate sexual violence on his or her own,” said Cathy Covington of ALIVE. “It takes a community of committed individuals to make a significant impact. ALIVE invites our community to join us this month, and year-round in taking a stand against sexual violence.”

Local activities to raise awareness of sexual violence include Denim Day on April 24. ALIVE is asking employers, schools and colleges to encourage employees to dress down and wear jeans on April 24 to promote Denim Day and make a donation to ALIVE.

The donation amount is $5 per person.

For further information on Sexual Assault Awareness Month, or to participate in “Denim Day,” people can contact Cathy Covington at ALIVE at 636-583-9863.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, confidential help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-941-9144 or 636-583-5700.