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City of Alexandria Raises Awareness About Sexual Assault and Resources Available to Support Victims

Page archived as of January 22, 2019

City of Alexandria Raises Awareness About Sexual Assault and Resources Available to Support Victims

For Immediate Release: January 8, 2019

The City of Alexandria reminds the community of resources available for survivors of sexual assault and those supporting survivors.

It is important for survivors to know that it is not their fault and help is available. The City’s Sexual Assault Center offers services including a 24/7 hotline at 703.683.7273, individual counseling, support groups, family support and information and referral services. Call the hotline to access these and additional services, or visit the website at alexandriava.gov/SexualViolence. In case of an emergency, and for life-threatening situations, always call 911.

Free presentations are also available on topics including prevention, awareness, healthy relationships, sexual harassment and bystander intervention. To schedule a presentation for a school, youth group, civic organization or other Alexandria group, call 703.746.3118.

Sexual assault is a crime that occurs when a person is forced, threatened or coerced into sexual contact or attention without consent, including when unable to consent due to age, illness, disability or the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Examples include fondling, forced sexual contact, indecent exposure, rape, partner rape, statutory rape, sodomy, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, child sexual abuse, incest, ritual abuse, sexual exploitation and sexual harassment.

Sexual assault happens in all communities, and to people of any age and gender. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in two women and one in five men have experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lives; and one in five women (and one in 67 men) have experienced attempted or completed rape. Two-thirds of these rapes and attempts are unreported. Approximately 80 percent of all sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim personally knows.

Survivors of sexual assault may experience a range of emotional, psychological and physical reactions, and each person heals differently. Whether the sexual assault happened recently or years ago, it can affect daily functioning. For victims who have been attuned to the national spotlight on sexual assault, retraumatization can occur. The stories can also lead victims who have never told anyone about being assaulted, to report their experience with authorities.

For more information, visit alexandriava.gov/SexualViolence or call the Alexandria Sexual Assault Hotline at 703.683.7273.

For media inquiries, contact Craig Fifer, Director of Communications and Public Information, at craig.fifer@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3965.

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/107531.

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