Health and Family Services Cabinet
Gov. Beshear Proclaims March Sexual Assault Awareness Month; Ceremony spotlights prevention efforts

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, March 01, 2011  
Contact Information:  Media Contact: Anya Armes Weber, (502) 564-6786, ext. 3104; or Gwenda Bond, (502) 564-6786, ext. 3100  


FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 1, 2011) – Several individuals and groups were honored today for their efforts to increase awareness as part of the kickoff of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Governor Steve Beshear has signed a proclamation declaring March as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Kentucky.

The Capitol Rotunda event was cosponsored by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) and the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP).

CHFS Secretary Janie Miller said her staff values its partnerships with groups like KASAP.

“KASAP and the local programs we honor today have made prevention a priority,” she said. “Working together, we are teaching communities that sexual violence toward anyone is unacceptable.”

Eileen Recktenwald, executive director of KASAP, said the prevention movement is gaining momentum, particularly because of groups like the state’s rape crisis centers.

“The Commonwealth’s rape crisis programs are dedicated to serving survivors of sexual violence and those who support them with comprehensive healing and advocacy services,” she said. “We are grateful for the support of lawmakers and government officials who bring attention to the prevalence and devastation of this crime.”

In Kentucky, one in nine adult females – more than 175,000 women -- has been forcibly raped. This conservative estimate does not include rape facilitated by alcohol or drugs, attempted rape, statutory rape (sex with someone under age 16 without explicit force) or other forms of sexual violence.

“We know education and awareness are key parts of the prevention of sexual assault,” said Phyllis Millspaugh, a program administrator for the CHFS Family Violence Prevention Branch.

Millspaugh said the easiest way to be a part of prevention is talking about safety and boundaries, especially with teen boys and girls, who are part of the highest risk age group for sexual assault.

“When we speak out, we are making it clear that sexual assault is a crime, we’re encouraging reporting and we are helping survivors realize they are not alone and have exceptional services available to them in Kentucky,” she said.

At an awards dinner tonight in Frankfort, three people will receive the Sexual Assault Awareness Month Award for their contributions to end sexual violence. The winners, who were also recognized at the Rotunda event, are: 

─ Eddie Farrey, instructor, Law Enforcement Training Center at Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training.
─ Denise Hylton, sexual assault nurse examiner, Pikeville Medical Center.
─ Angelika Lewis-Bowling, domestic violence advocate, Williamsburg City Police Department.

The Innovative Program Award was given to “Art in Action: Growing awareness through the arts,” a collaboration among the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center, the Community Arts Center of Danville and Danville High School. The group was recognized at today’s ceremony.

For more information about the sexual assault prevention programs and services and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, please visit http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dpp/violenceprevention.htm or www.kasap.org.


– 30 –