MASON CITY, Iowa - According to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), an American is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds. Every 9 minutes, that victim is a child.
Throughout the month of April, agencies like Crisis Intervention Service are helping to raise awareness, as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Child Abuse Prevention Month. Executive Director Mary Ingham has seen a 5-10% increase in reported sexual assault cases. She hopes that the awareness being brought this year leads into taking action, and reducing abuse in North Iowa.
"I think the beautiful thing about North Iowa is there's so many people working together to raise awareness, to work with victims, to hold abusers accountable."
"We continue to see more and more people reaching out, and I think it has to do with articles or stories like this. people know that there is support available. I think people know that sexual assault is wrong, but not knowing what that next step is, where can I go for help or assistance, or what if no one believes me."
In addition, Crisis Intervention Service will be holding awareness events in Mason City and Clear Lake during Crime Victims' Rights Week April 18-25.
According to ChildHelp, more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the U.S. yearly.