Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A Proclamation
His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick

Whereas Non-stranger and stranger rape and sexual assault affect women, children and men of all racial, cultural, educational and economic backgrounds throughout the Commonwealth, the nation and the world; and

Whereas In 2010, 2,564 unduplicated incidents of sexual assault were reported to the seventeen Massachusetts Department of Public Health funded Rape Crisis Centers and Llámanos, the statewide Spanish language helpline; and

Whereas According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men in Massachusetts have experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape, and 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in Massachusetts have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lives; and

Whereas Students who had experiences sexual contact against their will exhibited higher rates of many risk behaviors, such as considering or attempting suicide, sexual intercourse or driving a vehicle while intoxicated, and displayed significantly lower academic achievement than their peers; and

Whereas It is fitting to recognize the compassion and dedication of the many individuals who provide services to survivors, who work to hold perpetrators accountable and who continuously strive to increase the public’s understanding of this significant problem; and

Whereas Through public awareness, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, rape crisis centers throughout the state and a growing network of other organizations seek to eliminate the prevalence of sexual violence,

Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim April 2012 to be,

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this third day of April, in the year two thousand and twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
               
By His Excellency                  

Deval L. Patrick                     
Governor of the Commonwealth         

William Francis Galvin              
Secretary of the Commonwealth   

God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts