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Gov. Little declares April 'Sexual Assault Awareness Month'

Little at Faces of Hope (CBS2){p}{/p}
Little at Faces of Hope (CBS2)

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Gov. Brad Little has declared the month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

On Tuesday, several sexual assault advocacy groups, law enforcement, and the Governor met at Faces of Hope in Downtown Boise to kick off the month.

According to Faces of Hope two out of five Idaho women and one out of five Idaho men will experience some form of sexual assault throughout their life.

This is why Gov. Little along with several organizations hope to combat sexual violence.

Paige Dinger with Faces of Hope says that's what drives them to provide relief to victims of violence.

"This is a campaign that says we do not tolerate interpersonal violence, including assault...we don't tolerate it," Dinger said.

She says sexual assault does not discriminate against anyone. Dispelling one of the myths that violence only happens to those in lower socioeconomic groups.

"People who come to 'faces' looking for services come from all walks of life, all social classes, races, genders...They come here to Faces for help." she said.

Among the speakers during Tuesday's proclamation kick-off was Lt. Col Sheldon Kelly with the Idaho state police. Lt. Col Kelly shed light on the backlog of cold cases related to sexual violence. He says law enforcement agencies are working to secure funding to re-visit old cases.

"Idaho state police and forensic services are working on a 3 million dollar grant to investigate cold cases and gather DNA." Kelly

Dinger reminded us all, how we can play a better role in the lives of sexual assault victims

"I ask that the best gift that you can give any survivor of sexual assault...Is to just listen," Dinger said.

Gov. Little echoed that in his proclamation.

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"Idaho strongly supports national state and local partners. Citizens actively engaging in public and private efforts including conversations about what sexual violence is, how to prevent it, and how to help survivors connect with services," he said. "And how every segment of our society should work together to better address sexual violence."

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