Gov. Mike Dunleavy declared April as Sexual Assault Awareness month in Alaska in a press release with the Department of Public Safety on Thursday.
“The Alaska State Troopers and our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners are committed to doing our part to end the epidemic of sexual assault in Alaska,” said Alaska State Troopers Director, Colonel Bryan Barlow. “Every Alaskan has a right to live without fear of being sexually assaulted, and Troopers are working tirelessly to thoroughly investigate these reprehensible acts made against far too many Alaskans in both urban and rural Alaska.”
Alaska permits anonymous reporting, allowing victims to determine if they would like to make a formal report to law enforcement and take that into consideration prior to evidence collection that may lead to prosecution. This is reinforced by both state and federal law that provides opportunities for victims to receive forensic medical examination. Evidence collected and stored at the Alaska State Crime Lab will not be used unless a victim decides to file formal report to law enforcement officers. Governor Dunleavy’s Mat-Su office Director Todd Smoldon told the Mat-Su Borough Assembly earlier this month that the sexual assault data backlog could be caught up with by this fall.
“Alaskans have heard the horrific sex crimes statistics for years, but it is up to all of us to come together and create an environment where survivors can come forward, be heard, and begin the healing process,” said Alaska Council of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA) Executive Director L. Diane Casto. “Eliminating Alaska’s high rate of sexual assault is a monumental task, and CDVSA will continue to work with our law enforcement and victims service partners towards the goal of a safer Alaska.”
Alaska 2-1-1 for assistance, referrals, resources
Alaska’s CARELINE at 877-266-4357
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Text LOVEIS to 22522
Online chat at www.thehotline.org
National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673)
To report child abuse at 800-478-4444 or online at ReportChildAbuse@alaska.gov
For a listing of local victim services 24/7 hotlines go to: https://dps.alaska.gov/CDVSA/Services/VictimServices