Central New York, Community, Education, Health, Public Safety

It’s On Our Community: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

BY LAURA MOLINA SYRACUSE, NEW YORK (NCC NEWS) –Every two minutes an individual is sexually assaulted in the United States, which means that more than 300,000 people are victims of sexual assault every year.

In the past few years, media have covered a wide range of sexual assault cases, particularly in college campuses. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, the majority of victims of sexual violence cases are between the ages of 18 to 34.

Today the Onondaga County District Attorney’s  Office Victims Assistance Program, McMohan and Ryan Child Advocacy, and Hope for the Bereaved, joined the Vera House to host the 24th Annual Crime Victims’ Vigil.

The event was done in an effort to create awareness about this issue and to bring support to people who might be going through the painful process and don’t know what to do.

“We want to make sure that everyone that comes into the community know where and how they can find help,” supervisor at the victim assistance program, Monira Alozaime, said.

According to the Vera House, in 2016, police arrested 2,481 domestic violence alleged perpetrators and received around 18,658 Domestic Violence calls all across Central New York.

One of the speakers for tonight’s event was Katie Stager, who is a domestic violence survivor.  In a summer night of 2010, Stager’s husban, who she had separated from, snuck into her apartment and stabbed her 37 times. In the moment of the incident, she pretended to be dead and that is how she was able to save her own life.

“We have to talk more about this, people are unaware that this is happening next door,” Stager said.

Now, Stager is an example of what someone can achieve, regardless of all the adversities in their lives.

“Anybody who is in a situation of violence should seek immediate help and come forward,” Amozaime said.