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April declared Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Wednesday, April 5, 2023 - The Sequoyah County Board of Commissioners proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month at their weekly meeting on Monday.

"The better we can educate the public, the more awareness we can create, the better off we will be. This is our 10th year for this proclamation, and we are so thankful for the commissioners support," investigator with the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Department, Cindy Smith, stated. "We know that a little more than a third of sexual assault crimes are being reported, but that is because many of the victims are being stalked, are being told no one will believe them, and many of them are being harassed."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "over half of women and almost 1 in 3 men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes. One in four women and about 1 in every 26 men have experienced rape or an attempted rape."

Sexual assault does not discriminate and can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, background, or religion. Sexual assault often leads to a long road of recovery for the victim, creating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD, just to name a few.

Bringing awareness to this topic is important because survivors need to know that there are resources available, that justice will be served, and that they are not alone.

During consideration of resolutions, bids, and contracts, commissioners approved a DARE agreement by and between the Sequoyah County Sheriff's Department and Moffett Public Schools for a full-time school resource officer.

There was discussion, followed by the approval of the FY 2024 fixed rate service contract renewal between the department of corrections, community sentencing, and the Sequoyah County Board of Commissioners.

During the citizens presentation, Sequoyah County Emergency Management Deputy Director Jonathan Teague reported that the storm spotter class that was held last Wednesday had a great turnout, with 52 participants attending.

In new business, commissioners approved the appointment of Kristina Qualls and Audri McMurtry as receiving officers for the court clerk’s office. In addition, there was approval to transfer appropriations of $5,000 from civil defense personal service to M&O, Sequoyah County Emergency Management.

Lindsie Dyer, Staff Writer

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