Raising awareness to protect women against sexual assault

Updated: Apr. 2, 2015 at 2:51 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, DC - This is a news release from AlertID

The National Crime Prevention Council (Home to McGruff the Crime Dog®), Nevada's First Lady, Kathleen Sandoval, and AlertID Founder, Keli Wilson, have teamed to raise awareness and offer resources for victims in commemoration of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April).

A sexual assault occurs every 2 seconds in the United States. While both men and women are susceptible to becoming victims of sexual violence, a CDC survey revealed that 1 in 5 U.S. women have been raped during their lifetime and 1 in 2 have encountered some form of sexual violence. “As a community, we must support victims of sexual violence as well as focus on prevention,” said Nevada's First Lady and Children's Cabinet Director of Operations, Kathleen Sandoval.

Unfortunately, sexual assault incidents are reported less frequently than any other violent crime as only a small percentage of victims are willing to step forward to report their experience and involve the criminal justice process. “When a person is victimized by crime, we must employ the necessary local resources to help law enforcement apprehend the person responsible and to support the victims,” said Ann M. Harkins, NCPC President and CEO.

Protecting yourself by being informed about the dangers in your area and understanding preventative measures are critical to prevent victimization. According to AlertID Founder, Keli Wilson, “Information is power. The more we are aware of the dangers in our neighborhoods and the more proactive we are, the better we can protect ourselves and our families.”

The National Crime Prevention Council and AlertID offer the following 9 tips to help protect women from becoming victims:

1.      Be aware of your surroundings - become a member of AlertID for free at

to stay informed of the sex offender, current crime alerts and up to the minute warnings from neighbors in any area important to you.

2.      Avoid walking or jogging alone – particularly at night. Additionally, vary your route and stay in well-traveled, well-lighted areas.

3.      Walk with confidence - the more confident you look, the stronger you appear.

4.      Be wary of isolated spots –underground garages, offices after business hours, and apartment laundry rooms.

5.      Have your key ready to use before you reach the door – this includes home, car, or work.

6.      Drive on well-traveled streets with doors and windows locked.

7.      Trust your instincts - if you feel uncomfortable in your surroundings, leave the area immediately.

8.      In the event you have car trouble - call for help on your cell phone or if you don't have a phone, put the hood up, set road flares, lock the doors, turn on the hazard lights, and wait for a public service worker to assist you.

For more prevention tips and resource information on Sexual Assault from AlertID, developed in conjunction with the National Crime Prevention Council, please visit:

Victim support resources are especially important functions of the recovery process for all survivors of sexual violence. If you are sexually assaulted, it is not your fault. Don't be afraid to ask for help or support.

Resources for Victims:


National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, 1-800-656-HOPE

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