MPA Continues to Observe April as Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Awareness Month


teal ribbon sexual assaultMesa has been fortunate to experience a 50% decrease in rapes from this time last year, and a 46% decrease from two years ago.  Aggravated assaults also decreased by 21% from this point in time last year.  In light of public safety officers in Mesa focusing efforts to reduce crime, the Mesa Police Association (MPA) observes April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and will engage in various efforts to distribute information to citizens. They will also answer questions regarding sexual assault prevention, child abuse, family violence, criminal investigations, possible penalties, legislation information and victim support.

 

 “During the month of April, MPA hopes to educate the community and prevent crimes of sexual assault and child abuse,” states Fabian Cota, President of the Mesa Police Association.  “Though these types of crimes are down in Mesa, we recognize so many go unreported.  We hope more information helps bring victims forward.”

 

Designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), April brings an annual opportunity to focus awareness on sexual violence and its prevention.  Police officers are those first-responders to dealing with dangerous domestic violence calls.  According to the Arizona Attorney General’s office:

            *Every 36-minutes a police officer responds to a domestic violence incident where a child is present.

            *A woman is physically assaulted by an intimate partner in this country every 7 seconds.  This equates to 9 women every minute.

            *Every 19 minutes in Arizona, an arrest is made as a result of a domestic violence incident.

            *Every 5 minutes in Arizona, a law enforcement officer responds to a domestic violence call.

            *There is a domestic violence related death approximately every five days in Arizona.

 

Such physical violation can have long-term devastating effects.  The effects can be severe for victims, both physically and mentally.  Physical implications such as bruises, broken bones, sexually transmitted diseases, gastrointestinal problems, chronic neck and back pain are commonly experienced by victims.  In addition, survivors often face serious mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and eating disorders.

The MPA will be handing out free teal ribbons throughout the month of April in efforts to educate the public on sexual assault prevention.  We are also the co-sponsor of a ribbon cutting event for the Lighthouse Women’s Resource Center at 460 S. Country Club on Saturday, April 17th at 11am.  All MPA members are invited to attend.

lighthouse ribbon cutting