Sexual Assault Awareness Month

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

Today in Frankfort, Governor Ernie Fletcher proclaimed March as Sexual Assault Awareness month in Kentucky.

Statistics show that one out of every nine adult women in our state has been the victim of a sexual assault crime in her lifetime.

It can happen anytime, day and night and many times these victims are assaulted by someone they know.

"I was a victim of rape. I'm a survivor of the circumstances," sexual assault survivor, Donna Pardue said.

Pardue is one of many women nationwide who knows first hand what a problem sexual assault is.

"It's something I have to deal with each and every day," Pardue said.

Pardue was first sexually assaulted by a friend when she was four-years-old. A few years later it was by her uncle, something that continued until she was 13-years-old.

"Nobody wanted to listen. They didn't want to hear it," Pardue said.

She's still dealing with what happened to her, even today.

"I'm gonna carry this for life. What he did in a five year period is lasting me for life," Pardue said.

"National statistics show that one in three females and one in six males will be the victims of sexual assault in their lifetime," Elizabeth Mohon said.

Mohon is the Sexual Assault Services Coordinator at Western Kentucky University. She helps educate students and faculty members to be aware of the sexual assault problem.

"This is a silent epidemic going on in our community, in our country, in the world," Mohon said.

She also encourages victims to break their silence.

"To let us know as a community, as a mother, brother, father, uncle, sister, whoever ... that it is a community problem and we can talk about it," Mohon said, just as Donna is doing.

"I speak for the silent one, the one who can't talk or the one who never could talk because I can talk now. If they could only live in our minds, the survivor, for five minutes ... I don't think anyone would ever want to feel that pain. I've felt alot of pain before but not that kind," Pardue said.

On Friday, March 2, 2007, in Bowling Green at 10:00 a.m., a local proclamation will be signed at City Hall designating March as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

There will also be events going on at Western Kentucky University all month to make the campus and community more aware of sexual assault.

March 3: "10 Things Men Can Do", by Jackson Katz, 9 a.m. at Downing University Center Theater.

March 6: Lecture by Angela Shelton, author of "Searching for Angela Shelton", 7 p.m., at Mass Media and Technology Hall Auditorium.

March 21: Clothesline Project, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Downing University Center.

March 26: Clothesline Project, noon to 3 p.m., at WKU South Campus.

March 27: Clothesline Project, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at WKU-Glasgow Campus.

March 29: Take Back the Night March and Candlelight Vigil , 6 p.m., at Warren County Justice Center.

The complete calendar can be found online by clicking here.

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