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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Westport Hosts Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign Kickoff

By Jennifer Connic

The region’s leaders made it clear today they hope people will say it loud in tackling and ending sexual violence.

The Stamford-based Sexual Assault Crisis and Education center kicked off its 2007 “Say it Loud Campaign” at Westport Town Hall with a function that featured speeches from federal, state and local officials, and those in attendance included high school students and law enforcement officials.

“We need to call attention to this serious problem,” Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said. “We think it does not happen in places like Westport, but it does. It happens in places people cannot imagine.”

He cited a minor who was arrested last Friday on sexual assault charges (See WestportNow March 23).

Joseloff also cited statistics provided by the center, including that one in three girls and one in five boys will be sexually assaulted before their 16th birthdays and that one in four college females reports experiencing sexual assault during their four years in school.

He said he hopes the high school students who were present at today’s kick-off would bring the message back to their fellow teenagers on helping to stop sexual assault.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal touched on the need for better safety of teens on the Internet, especially with social networking Web sites.

“It’s true that the majority of victims know their assailant, but there is a growing number who are lured by people they met on the Internet,” he said.

The state has an Internet safety campaign, and 45 attorneys general across the country are working together to combat the dangers on the Internet, Blumenthal said.

They are demanding the social networking sites to do more by verifying people’s ages and raising the age limits for certain things, he said.

“We are not trying to censor anyone,” he said. “We want to increase safety.”


Posted 03/29/07 at 06:04 PM  Permalink


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Bravo!  It is also important to educate the adults in town on prevention: creating environments which make abuse difficult, if not impossible, to occur. Great start!

Posted by Susan Komisar Hausman on March 30, 2007 at 03:14 AM | #