More important than ever to raise awareness for sexual assault

Sexual assault is the number one violent crime in the state of West Virginia.

So AWAY (formerly the Women’s Resource Center) is hosting a free April movie night to raise awareness during the last day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Showtimes are
3pm and 6pm at the Neville Auditorium on Neville Street in the WVU building.

It’s an opportunity to listen to and honor survivors in our community and show those impacted by sexual violence that they are not alone.

According to AWAY Assistant Executive Director Erin Jones, sexual assault is more prevalent than murder and abuse.

“And when you think about how many times sexual assault is actually reported vs. how often it’s not reported; those numbers are probably even higher,” said Jones.

The assistant executive director wants to ensure actual jail time for these violent crimes, and for perps to be held accountable. For people who are not comfortable reporting the assault, AWAY is 100 percent confidential. What does sexual abuse in a relationship look like…

“Can I just slap my wife on the butt and she doesn’t want it, so that’s the problem,” Jones said that actually isn’t the problem. “If she says, ‘No, I’m not in the mood’ and walks away. Ok, we’re done, that’s it.”

There has to be a second layer to it.

“Has to be a continuation. Consent is removed or unable to be given at all,” said the assistant executive director. “That is when it escalates to sexual abuse. Now everyone is protected under this new law and removal of the marriage exception.”

You can reach out to AWAY anytime 24/7.

“You can absolutely come talk to one of our advocates and they’ll walk you through all the different processes, even if that process is simply healing,” she said.

To those who’ve been sexually assaulted and struggling with what to do next, Jones says AWAY believes you.

“I don’t think people hear that enough. A lot of times that’s the big fear that no one is going to believe them or understand how this has impacted their lives,” she said. “We are here for you, and we’re going to walk through this journey with you if you allow us to.”

To reach AWAY’s 24/7 hotline:





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