By Carlos Marquez III
Senior News Reporter
The Hays Caldwell Women’s Center is raising Sexual Assault awareness on the Texas State campus
Each year, there are about 293,000 victims of sexual assault in the U.S. The Rape Abuse and Incest National Network reported that 44 percent of sexual assault victims are under 18 and 47 percent of rapists are a friend or acquaintance to the victim.
Every 107 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted while 68 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to police. With the surplus of incidents going unreported it is estimated that 98 percent of rapists will never spend a day in jail or prison.
The Hays Caldwell Women’s Center is hoping to raise sexual assault awareness this month by creating a display of paper flowers and handing out information on sexual assault on the Texas State campus. Hays Caldwell Women’s Center Primary Prevention intern Hannah Thomas says that she will be in the quad for the rest of the month in order to raise Sexual Assault awareness.
“April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” Thomas said. “And the display that I’ve created, basically, it’s these, all of these individually made paper flowers and each one of these paper flowers represents one of the 219 adult victims from San Marcos that came to receive sexual assault services at Hays Caldwell Women’s Center in 2015. I have been in the quad every thursday through the month of April, so I’m gonna be there the rest of this month mas well. I’ve got the display with me it’s basically just on a big canvas but we’re also there, we have a different board where we’re collecting as many signatures as we can of people showing support and saying that they want to continue to grow with these survivors that have been through so much but yea, I’m also handing out some free stuff from HCWC that’s got our information on it as well as like a little pamphlet about our services and then different volunteer opportunities and stuff like that. So pretty much just handing out information and raising awareness about it.”
Thomas says that the most important step to moving on from a Sexual Assault is to talk about it or to seek help such as the services that the Hays Caldwell Women’s Center offers.
“It can benefit them ridiculously,” Thomas said. “Sexual Assault has become such a huge issue in our community, especially on college campuses that anyone that works at HCWC will tell you that we do everything we can to help those that have been through a traumatic event in their lives and sexual assault has had such a big impact on a victim that just having someone to talk to about it, let alone give them free counseling and offer them some of the great services that we have available at HCWC is mind-blowing, how much it can change and help them move forward from such a horrific thing that happened to them.”
The national color for Sexual Assault Awareness is teal and people who would like to participate in spreading awareness can post on social media with the hashtag Stop The Hurt or they can visit Thomas’s stand in the quad on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the rest of April.