The Iowa senator said, “Especially in these trying and confusing times, we must stand with survivors around the country. Sexual assault should never be tolerated—not in our schools or our college campuses, in our military or anywhere else in society.”
May 06 2020
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a survivor of sexual assault, joined Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today in introducing a bipartisan resolution in support of April being designated as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. This builds on Ernst’s efforts to assist survivors during COVID-19, including pushing for additional support for survivors and victims of sexual assault to be included in any future COVID-19 relief legislation.
“Especially in these trying and confusing times, we must stand with survivors around the country. Sexual assault should never be tolerated—not in our schools or our college campuses, in our military or anywhere else in society,” said Senator Joni Ernst, one of the first female Republican senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month serves as an opportunity to call attention to these heinous crimes and the need to change the culture surrounding them. Together with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I will continue working to empower my fellow survivors, ensure that perpetrators are held accountable, and put an end to sexual assault.”
“A sexual assault occurs almost every minute in our country but most won’t be reported,” said Senator Feinstein. “We need to remove the stigma associated with sexual assault so more victims are comfortable speaking out. Our resolution will help raise awareness, combat this problem and encourage more victims to speak out.”
“There is no act more destructive to human dignity than sexual assault, and its prevalence in our country is inexcusable,” said Senator Cornyn. “I’m proud to introduce this resolution to show that the Senate stands united with victims of sexual assault in their pursuit of justice.”
“National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month is an opportunity to raise awareness surrounding these terrible acts and pledge our support to survivors, many of whom carry the trauma of assault with them for years,” said Senator Grassley. “This resolution expresses Congress’ support for survivors and applauds advocates who provide much-needed assistance not just in the month of April but every single day in the year. It also highlights the need to prevent and prosecute crimes of sexual violence across the country.”
“It is so important to recognize the toll sexual violence takes on our society and the imperative to support survivors,” said Terri Poore, policy director of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence. “We’re grateful to Senators Feinstein, Cornyn, Leahy, Ernst and Grassley for recognizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month and honoring survivors, rape crisis centers and state sexual assault coalitions with this Senate resolution.”
“We appreciate Senators Feinstein, Cornyn, Leahy, Ernst and Grassley for recognizing the importance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, for their longstanding dedication to survivors and for their leadership in combating sexual violence,” said Scott Berkowitz, president of the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). “It sends a strong message to the millions of survivors across the country, including the more than 300,000 helped by RAINN’s victim service programs each year, that they are not alone and have important allies who will fight for them.”
For full text of the resolution, click here.