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Councilwoman Gonzales’ statement regarding Sexual Assault Awareness month and the effort to end violence against women in San Antonio

Communications and Public Affairs: 207-7234
Published on Thursday, April 29, 2021

Councilwoman Gonzales’ statement regarding Sexual Assault Awareness month and the effort to end violence against women in San Antonio

CONTACT: Victor Landa, 210-884-3429


SAN ANTONIO (April 29, 2021) – April is Sexual Assault Awareness month, a fact that was highlighted during today’s City Council A session. Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales spoke from the dais regarding the work that had been done in District 5 to create a pilot program using peer-to-peer outreach to prevent intimate partner abuse. The pilot was made possible through a partnership between District 5, the Westside Education & Training Center and ACCD’s Northwest Vista College.
Councilwoman Gonzales released the following statement:
“Thank you to Councilwomen Melissa Cabello-Havrda and Adriana Rocha-Garcia for bringing Sexual Assault Awareness Month to the Council’s attention. It was moving to see Larissa Martinez’ courage to come before Council to tell her story, and inspiring to hear about the work she does through Circle of Arms as an advocate for mental health awareness, especially for women who have been victims of sexual assault.
Thanks as well to the women and men on the Council who have made sexual abuse awareness and prevention a city priority and have backed it up with tangible action. It was with the entire council’s help that the Intimate Partner Violence intervention Promotora Project was created, as well as the Status of Women report which provided actionable steps to provide women with equity, parity, opportunity, and safety.
It’s comforting, as I end my term on City Council, to know that many council members have pledged to continue to work to end poverty and violence against women.”  
Sexual Abuse Awareness Month facts*:

  • 6.3 million Texans have experienced some form of sexual assault in their lifetime.
  • 5 out of every 1,000 perpetrators of sexual violence serve time in prison.
  • 3 out of 4 sexual assaults in Texas remain unreported.
  • In America, a person is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds
  • 1 in 2 women, 1 in 4 men, and 1 in 2 transgender and gender non-conforming individuals have experienced contact sexual violence in their lifetime. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before age 18.
  • 91% of child sexual abuse survivors know their perpetrator.
  • The lifetime cost of rape per victim is over $120,000.
  • 80-90% of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim.
  • Sexual assault is one of the most under-reported crimes, with 77% of sexual assaults left unreported to law enforcement often times due to a victim’s fear of the perpetrator, shame and social stigma, and lack of support or resources.
  • People with disabilities are at least three times more likely to be sexually assaulted than the people without disabilities.
  • It takes a lot of courage for survivors to disclose sexual assault.
  • When a survivor receives an empathetic response and feels believed, respected, and valued they are less likely to experience depression, anxiety, or PTSD.