Local organization pushes for importance on sexual assault awareness

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) – Sexual assault is more common than one thinks, and a lot of the times victims are scared to come forward. 

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Stephanie Rios who is a Program Assault Director at the Family Crisis Center says there has been an increase in sexual assault reports throughout the pandemic.

Although in-person services were unavailable for some time, victims of sexual assault would use the hotline for help.

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), a person is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds and every nine minutes that victim is a child.

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Rios would like to remind everyone that sexual assault is not specific to one gender or age group.

According to Rios, most victims know their perpetrators and a majority of the time it is people close to them.

“It can be through marriage it can be through acquaintance, during acquaintance, it can be during date rate, a stranger,” she said.

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Although most victims tend to be women, one in five men have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime.

Often times, Rios says 90% of children who have experienced sexual assault know their perpetrator.

The Family Crisis Center encourages parents to talk to children at a young age by explaining what is okay and what is not.

Rios says it is important to let victims know that they are not alone and support them as much as possible.

All victims are encouraged to report sexual assaults with the following hotline number 866-423-9304.

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