Domestic Violence Prevention, Inc. is teaming up with Texas A&M University-Texarkana for the first-ever Teal Trot 5K Fun Run/Walk. The event takes place at 9 a.m. April 4 at TAMU-T. The cost to enter is $10 and kids 12 and under run free.
Registration will be available from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. the day of the event. People can also pre-register at the TAMU-T counselor’s office or DVP’s Facebook page.
The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of sexual assault during April- Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Proceeds from the event will benefit the programs of DVP.
“We want to make sure the community knows the assistance we have available for victims of sexual assault including hospital accompaniment, counseling, support groups, legal advocacy and court accompaniment. We also do community education on the signs of sexual assault, what to watch out for and how to spot it,” said Trinity Gardner, DVP volunteer coordinator.
Sexual assault is a crime of violence that involves illegal sexual contact without a person’s consent or is inflicted on a person who can’t give their consent because of their age or physical or mental incapacity. Both men and women can be sexually assaulted but the majority of victims are female.
It is a significant problem. On average there are 78 women (18 and older) raped each hour in the United States or 683,000 a year, according to the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault website.
From October 2018 to September 2019 DVP served 120 victims of sexual assault but the true number of victims is much higher. In 2018 in Bowie and Cass counties there were nearly 1,000 sexual assaults reported but according to statistics, the majority of sexual assault victims never tell the authorities or anyone else about the crimes committed against them.
More than one in three women and nearly one in four men experience sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Victims of sexual assault or domestic violence can call DVP’s crisis hotline at 903-793-4357. For more information about the services DVP has available for the victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault, call the office at 903-794-4000.