Editor:

Look around you and reflect that 1 in 3 of the women you see will likely be the victim of sexual violence in their lifetime. Watch your clock for 98 seconds and in that time one more American will be sexually assaulted. Why, given those statistics, does so much of the public still immediately conclude that a survivor is lying? According to the American Psychological Association, sexual assault is the most under-reported crime in the country but false claims of sexual assault account for a mere 2-7 percent of all claims. As we are currently witnessing in the news, coming forth with a story of sexual assault is painful and traumatic. The idea that someone would put themselves through this public scrutiny for personal gain is hard to fathom.

Response is here to support survivors whether the abuse happened last night or three decades ago. Parents, we encourage you to talk to your children about treating people with respect and speaking out when they see something that is wrong. Response also spreads this message in the schools but it must be repeated, and reinforced if we ever hope to change the culture around sexual assault in this country.

Everyone in our community deserves to live free of sexual violence and survivors deserve to be believed.

(Helpline (970) 925-SAFE)

 

Shannon Meyer

Aspen