Balloon Release at Women's Bureau for Sexual Assault Awareness


Published 05/01 2014 01:41PM

Updated 05/01 2014 03:04PM

Being the victim of sexual assault can affect a person their entire lifetime.  According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, someone is sexually assaulted in the US every 2 minutes. 

It is the end of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and survivors were honored with a balloon release at the Women's Bureau in Fort Wayne.

WFFT's Brooke Welch was at the release and spoke with organizers about raising awareness of this very important topic.

Sexual assault survivors tell WFFT that the balloon release helps with the healing process and that the goal is to raise awareness about a very important, but often not talked about, crime.

"Only when you face it, can you begin to heal from it."

Executive Director Kathleen Alter of the Women's Bureau, says the balloon release is for survivors but also the thousands of people that haven't told anyone they've been sexually assaulted.

"60% of sexual assaults go unreported, because people are afraid.  They don't want the shame, they don't want the family members to know.  For whatever reason, nobody ever knows about it."

Rape Prevention Coordinator Jonette Neeley with the Fort Wayne Police Department says sexual assault is the largest health epidemic that people just aren't aware of.

"1 in 5 women will be sexually abused in their lifetime, and rape is one of the most unreported crimes there is."

Neeley says with such high statistics, being educated about sexual abuse is the best way a parent can keep their children protected.

"The parents are the first teacher, so the parents need to be educated and the children need to be educated.  Not putting the responsibility on the children, but making sure that both parties are educated so that when children are away from their parents, they have some good information to work off of."

Always, if you think sexual assault might be happening to you or a loved one, contact the authorities immediately.

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