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Resources in Marion County for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - April is Sexual Assault Awareness month which gives an opportunity to bring awareness and resources to survivors of sexual violence.

On the first Wednesday in April is “Start by Believing Day” to help stop sexual violence.

Every 73 seconds an American is sexually assaulted and every 9 minutes that victim is a child.

In 2020 Marion County reported 125 rape cases and in early March a woman in Ocala was kidnapped and raped and then left on the side of the road. Karen Simmons-Clifton a mental health counselor Ocala said victims need a voice.

“To remind them that they matter because oftentimes with these experiences they feel like they no longer have self-worth they become invisible with the secret so just empowering them to see themselves again.”

If you are a victim you can reach out to the Marion County crisis hotline at 352-622-5919 also the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, or Simmons-Clifton herself at 352-870-5127.

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