Sexual Assault Awareness Month April 1, 2019 WHEREAS, every Alaskan, regardless of age, race, culture, or status deserves to live free from harm and fear of sexual assault or abuse, and no one has the right to force, threaten, or manipulate anyone into sexual activity; and WHEREAS, sexual assault violates an individual’s sense of dignity, security, trust, and privacy. Women, children, and men of all racial, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds are impacted by sexual assault which includes rape, molestation, and sex trafficking. Sexual violence can also occur when an incapacitated victim is taken advantage of and unable to provide their consent; and WHEREAS, according to a 2017 Alaska Felony Level Sex Offenses report, there were 1,475 reported incidents of sexual violence in Alaska, and in most assaults, the suspect was someone known to the victim; and WHEREAS, it is common for survivors of sexual assault to endure lasting emotional, physical, and psychological scars, such as depression, substance abuse issues, phobias, interpersonal relationship issues, and low self-esteem; and WHEREAS, Alaska has made strides in education and awareness through programs like Alaska Men Choose Respect, Green Dot Alaska, and the Alaska Safe Children’s Act which requires school districts to provide teacher training, parent engagement, and age-appropriate education on personal safety for K-12 students; and WHEREAS, the State of Alaska is committed to keeping our residents safe. We take time this month to start the conversation, raise awareness to prevent assaults from damaging any more lives in our communities, and to increase support for victims and survivors of sexual assault. NOW THEREFORE, I, Michael J. Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim April 2019 as: Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Alaska, and ask that all Alaskans stand against sexual assault in our homes and communities, and to offer support to victims and survivors.