Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) have introduced a resolution supporting April as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. The legislation acknowledges survivors of sexual assault and supports the law enforcement, public safety and public health professionals working to end all types of sexual violence.

Our bipartisan legislation sends a strong message that sexual assault has no place in our society, said Congresswoman Baldwin. Through this resolution, we honor the efforts of those who provide rape crisis intervention and prevention and raise awareness of the need for increased resources for preventing sexual violence, a serious threat to public health, Baldwin said.

I am proud to work with my colleagues to bring attention to the effort to end sexual assault, said Congressman Poe. It is my hope that through this bipartisan resolution, we can raise awareness of the impact that sexual violence has on our society and expand the much needed support for victims of these horrible crimes, Poe said.

It is sad and sobering that nearly 15 percent of women will be victims of rape or sexual assault during their lifetimes, said Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz. This month, we pay tribute to these survivorsand to all the health professionals and law enforcement officers who help heal their wounds and pursue justice, Wasserman Schultz said.

Studies show that one in six women and one in thirty-three men will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime and that on average, a person is sexually assaulted in the U.S. every two-and-a-half minutes. The effects of sexual assault cut across racial, social, religious, ethnic, ability, and economic boundaries, and although most victims are younger women, sexual assault affects men, women and children of all ages. In addition to the physical effects of victimization, the emotional scars felt by sexual assault survivors may persist long after these physical scars have healed.

Our thanks to Representatives Baldwin, Poe, and Wasserman Schultz for their efforts to promote violence prevention, said Jeanie Kurka Reimer, Executive Director, Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a time to acknowledge the prevalence of sexual violence and move into action - raise awareness, honor and celebrate survivors who have lived through these horrible crimes, and think about how we, as individuals and organizations, may bring about the change necessary to end sexual violence, Reimer said.