President Trump on Friday declared April as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
“Sexual assault crimes remain tragically common in our society, and offenders too often evade accountability,” the presidential proclamation states. “These heinous crimes are committed indiscriminately: in intimate relationships, in public spaces, and in the workplace.”
“We must respond to sexual assault by identifying and holding perpetrators accountable. Too often, however, the victims of assault remain silent. They may fear retribution from their offender, lack faith in the justice system, or have difficulty confronting the pain associated with the traumatic experience,” the proclamation continued. “My Administration is committed to raising awareness about sexual assault and to empowering victims to identify perpetrators so that they can be held accountable.”
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According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the U.S. first designated April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month nationally in 2001.
“The move to issue a proclamation observing the month was first started by President Barack Obama in 2010, and the tradition has carried over into the Trump administration,” CN notes.
This year’s proclamation comes as numerous sexual misconduct allegations have surfaced in media, politics, and other industries. Trump himself has faced such accusations, which the White House has repeatedly denied.