Sexual assault survivors spread awareness
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - According to a national forensic science organization, every 68 seconds an American is sexually assaulted, and every nine minutes the victim is a child.
That disturbing fact and more were shared during the Albany Marine Corps Logistics Base sexual assault awareness program on Friday as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
“I was sexually assaulted when I was thirteen years old,” said Robyn Spring, a sexual assault survivor.
Robyn Spring said those words for the first time in public as she told her story of survival. She said she was sexually assaulted by one of her family members and never reported it or told her family.
“It feels like freedom because I was quiet for 20-some-odd years. We need to prevent sexual assault and by doing that by telling our stories,” Spring said.
The CDC reports that over half of women and 1 in 3 men have experienced sexual violence in their lifetimes. And sexual assault is very prevalent within the military. In 2021, The Department of Defense reported that there were over 8,000 reports of sexual assault.
The Albany Marine Corps Logistics Base is trying to prevent more of these cases from happening.
“Until we change, it’ll continue,” said Col. Michael J. Fitzgerald, commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base.
Forensic scientists said there’s an uptick in sexual assault cases but much like Spring’s story, most of those cases go unreported.
“It’s important to know you’re not alone. There are millions of Americans who have suffered from some form of sexual violence. It starts early in childhood,” said Monique Walker, lead forensic examiner for Martin Army Community Hospital at Ft. Benning.
As part of sexual assault prevention, Spring said she will help other victims and share messages that she once told herself.
“As long as you keep it inside you, you’re not going to pass through this, that you will be stuck there. So it’s time to heal,” Spring said.
If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual assault, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (1-800) 656-4673.
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