11/2/16 - Sexual Assaults - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

11/2/16 - Sexual Assaults

By Scott Thomas
KFVS12 Vice President and General Manager

By the time this ViewPoint is finished, someone in American will be the victim of a sexual assault. Let that sink in for a moment. Someone in our country is sexually assaulted nearly every two minutes.  To make matters worse, only one in three are reported. And an even smaller number, less than one percent, are convicted with jail time.

And sometimes when they are, we see cases like Brock Turner, the once highly-acclaimed Stanford swimmer who was convicted on three counts of felony sexual assault. Yet, he spent only three months in jail. Turner's case pushed the California legislature to amended the definition of rape and added new mandatory-minimum sentences for sexual assault. California isn’t the only state making changes. Illinois and Kentucky are both taking action to end the backlog of untested rape kits.

These are great steps forward, but change starts with us. So how do you help?

Talk to your kids. Speak with your sons and daughters about the importance of consent, and the consequences of what happens without it. You can lobby your legislators for change, and donate to an organization that helps victims. And if you ever know someone that is a victim, support them and encourage them to speak out. You can help be part of the solution by taking the “It’s On Us” pledge at http://itsonus.org/. We can end the stigma of sexual assault.  Let us be the support system that so many of these victims never receive.

I’m Scott Thomas and that’s our ViewPoint.

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