[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

 
PROCLAMATION 8492--APR. 1, 2010

Proclamation 8492 of April 1, 2010
National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, 2010
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Every day, women, men, and children across America suffer the pain and
trauma of sexual assault. From verbal harassment and intimidation to
molestation and rape, this crime occurs far too frequently, goes
unreported far too often, and leaves long-lasting physical and emotional
scars. During National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we recommit
ourselves not only to lifting the veil of secrecy and shame surrounding
sexual violence, but also to raising awareness, expanding support for
victims, and strengthening our response.
Sexual violence is an affront to our national conscience, one which we
cannot ignore. It disproportionately affects women--an estimated one in
six American women will experience an attempted or completed rape at
some point in her life. Too many men and boys are also affected.
These facts are deeply troubling, and yet, sexual violence affects
Americans of all ages, backgrounds, and circumstances. Alarming rates of
sexual violence occur among young women attending college, and
frequently, alcohol or drugs are used to incapacitate the victim. Among
people with disabilities, isolation may lead to repeated assaults and an
inability to seek and locate help. Native American women are more than
twice as likely to be sexually assaulted compared with the general
population. As a Nation, we share the responsibility for protecting each
other from sexual assault, supporting victims when it does occur, and
bringing perpetrators to justice.
We can lead this charge by confronting and changing insensitive
attitudes wherever they persist. Survivors too often suffer in silence
because they fear further injury, are unwilling to experience further
humiliation, or lack faith in the criminal justice system. This feeling
of isolation, often compounded with suicidal feelings, depression, and
post-traumatic stress disorder, only exacerbate victims' sense of
hopelessness. No one should face this trauma alone, and as families,
friends, and mentors, we can empower victims to seek the assistance they
need.
At the Federal, State, local, and tribal level, we must work to provide
necessary resources to victims of every circumstance, including medical
attention, mental health services, relocation and housing assistance,
and advocacy during legal proceedings. Under Vice President Biden's
leadership, the 2005 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act
included the Sexual Assault Services Program, the first-ever funding
stream dedicated solely to providing direct services to victims of
sexual assault. To further combat sexual violence, my 2011 Budget
doubles funding for this program. Through the Justice Department and the
Centers for Disease Control, we are funding prevention and awareness
campaigns as well as grants for campus services to address sexual
assault on college campuses. The Justice Department has also increased
funding and resources to combat violence against Native American women.

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As we continue to confront this crime, let us reaffirm this month our
dedication to take action in our communities and stop abuse before it
starts. Together, we can increase awareness about sexual violence,
decrease its frequency, punish offenders, help victims, and heal lives.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of
America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2010 as National
Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I urge all Americans to reach out to
victims, learn more about this crime, and speak out against it.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of April,
in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the
United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
BARACK OBAMA