April is the start of Sexual Assault Awareness month. Events are being held around Jacksonville throughout April to bring attention to the issue.
Women's Center of Jacksonville Executive Director Teresa Miles and board member Lise Everly talked about sexual assault in an interview with WJCT’s Melissa Ross on Monday’s First Coast Connect.
In the wake of President Donald Trump facing claims of sexual assault and others in television and film being accused, the conversations and reports have become more frequent.
Reporting done on the topic is but a fraction of the actual number of occurrences, according to Miles.
One in six women in Florida have been raped, according to statistics provided by the Women's Center of Jacksonville.
The Women’s Center also asserts one in three women have survived some form of sexual violence, and one in six men nationwide have been sexually abused.
After the #MeToo movement gained traction in late October 2017, the Women’s Center saw a 53% spike in sexual assault hotline calls.
“It’s about consent,” said Everly, in discussing a key factor of sexual abuse and adding that the conversation has been heightened since the start of the #MeToo movement.
“What we are trying to do is bring men in the equation because once men speak on this topic and men put peer pressure on men to behave, that’s when change occurs,” said Miles.
The Woman’s Center of Jacksonville will be opening a new rape crisis safe center - also called S.A.F.E (Sexual Assault Forensics Exam). The ribbon cutting will be on April 24.