LIHU‘E — April serves as National Alcohol Awareness, Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, according to a proclamation signed by Mayor Derek Kawakami late last week.
“This month, we emphasize the importance of understanding the devastating problems of alcohol addiction, child abuse and neglect, sexual assault and violence, and commit to form partnerships and work together on the challenges our families face and collaboratively look for opportunities to make positive changes to social conditions that influence those challenges,” Kawakami said Friday.
“The collaboration and coordination of prevention agencies and coalitions increase the public awareness of violence and addiction occurring in our community,” he said.
These are widespread issues.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Dependence, alcohol abuse is the No. 1 health problem in the U.S., claiming the lives of more than 90,000 people every year.
Over the last five years, 906 Kaua‘i children ages 2 to 18 received services through the Children’s Justice Center as victims of sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, commercial sexual exploitation, witnesses to crime or violence, and/or child maltreatment, the proclamation states.
Kaua‘i’s YWCA receives an average of 350 sexual assault calls to its 24/7 hotline per year, and provides over 1,500 hours of counseling services to sexual assault survivors and their families, according to the proclamation. Further, within the state, 11.6% of women aged 18 and older have been coerced into sex, 14.9% have been raped, and 28.2% report unwanted sexual contact.
Source: The Garden Island