Like it or not we live in a society where domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual assault continue to be part of our lives every day.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, observed to empower everyone to take the necessary steps in preventing these crimes. The crimes that have a deep impact on us spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Knowing that sexual assault is not your fault is one of the first steps in finding that empowerment. But, you do need to take action to heal and move forward toward a normal life.

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According to World Population Review, just behind Alaska and Arkansas, South Dakota has the third-highest rape rate in the U.S., with 72.6 rapes per 100,000.

And it's not just women who are raped. In the United States, about 43.6% of women and 24.8% of men experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime, according to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

The laws and definitions do vary from state to state as do the penalties.

 1 in 3 native women will be raped (according to the legal definition of rape) makes the constant awareness of the possibility and fear of rape an intangible, constant act of violence against all women

 

National Sexual Assault Hotline, reachable 24 hours a day at 1-800-656-HOPE

South Dakota has Crisis Lines available both online and by phone.

In the Sioux Falls area, victims can reach out to the Children's Inn and Compass Center.

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