National Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month

To recognize and draw attention to National Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention month, Secretary Reagan toured today, the Northern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault in Flagstaff, Arizona. 

Today, I saw this incredible facility and must say how proud I am and commend the staff at NACASA for all the work they are doing here for victims of sexual assault and strangulation. I wish centers like this were not needed, but the services they provide are invaluable.

We all have an important role in ending sexual assault and child abuse, because these crimes affect all of us. As a community we need to create an environment that is safe to come forward by listening and believing without judgment. If someone you know is assaulted please stand by them throughout the process. Encourage them to raise their voice, as only 40% of sexual assaults are reported. 

Children in this state are also in dire need of help. In 2014, alone, nearly 46,000 reports of child abuse were heard and on average five children a day die from neglect and abuse in the United States. Which, is why I am on the board of ChildHelp, a non-profit dedicated to ending child abuse. 

As Secretary of State I oversee a program that supports survivors and helps protect them from further harm. It is called the Address Confidentiality Program. This program helps female and male adults and child victims of domestic violence, sexual offenses, and stalking from being located by the perpetrator through public records. The program provides a substitute address and confidential mail forwarding services to individuals and families across Arizona.

The Program took flight in 2012 and we are currently serving 727 people from all across Arizona. Many people do not know about this program and I want to change that. I want the people of Arizona to know that the Secretary of State’s office and the Address Confidentiality Program are here to help them if they need these services. 

We must all work together to create an environment that is safe and conducive to success through collaborative efforts by individuals, agencies, organizations and communities, so Arizonians can work together to prevent sexual assault and end child abuse in Arizona while continuing to provide support for survivors through programs like the Address Confidentiality Program at the Secretary of State’s Office and advocacy centers, like NACASA in Coconino County.