Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 28, 2023
Prosecutor's Office empowers young women to defend selves from sexual assault
Dozens of area female high school seniors and college students joined the Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office at The Fieldhouse for a day of sexual assault awareness and self-defense training, organized by Office Manager and former Victim Advocate, Sacha Daniels.
Under the direction of Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office Investigator Bethany Hayes, the girls learned maneuvers to defend themselves from attackers. Those techniques included situational awareness, punching, kicking and breaking free from restraint attempts.
With college in the near future for many of the senior participants, Diversion Coordinator Kasi Stewart educated the participants on date rape drugs and provided information on how to stay safe at parties.
Additionally, a survivor of sexual assault while she was a high school student in Muskingum County courageously shared her story with the girls in attendance.
The girls learned the unfortunate reality that sexual assault happens more often in their hometowns than they are aware and that there is no shame in having been victimized.
In 2022, the Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office prosecuted 25 cases of sexual assault, which resulted in a conviction rate of 82 percent. The national conviction rate is just 58 percent.
Sexual assault occurs nationally every 68 seconds, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.
Case statistics show that one out of every six women in America has been the victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.
Addressing the scourge of sexual assault in our nation today requires a many-pronged approach. Educating our young persons, as happened today, is one of those important prongs. It is also important to educate our community about sexual assault, so all can be more vigilant, so individuals can better support survivors, and so that in rare circumstances, a person can be a more informed juror.
By educating young women on the reality of sexual assault and providing them with the tools and knowledge to stay safe, it is the hope of the Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office that these participants have a greater chance of not becoming one of those statistics.
“Preventing sexual assault has a greater impact than prosecuting sexual assault,” Muskingum County Prosecutor Ron Welch said. “If this training keeps just one person from becoming a victim, then we have succeeded in the best possible way.”
Today’s sexual assault awareness day and self-defense training were made possible by The Fieldhouse and the donation of time by members of the prosecutor’s office staff.
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