67ºF

Rape, sexual assault continuing problem in SA

1 in 5 women report being victimized

It's a crime that changes lives and in some cases, even destroys them. Sadly, sexual assaults happen every day in our community and they often go unreported.
It's a crime that changes lives and in some cases, even destroys them. Sadly, sexual assaults happen every day in our community and they often go unreported.

The month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, as the crime continues to be a problem across San Antonio, and the nation. According to a report released by the White House Council on Women and Girls, nearly one in five women, and one in 71 men have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lifetimes. 

Rick Gipprich, deputy director of education and development for the Rape Crisis Center of San Antonio, said Texas matches the national numbers, in terms of sexual assaults of females.

"In Texas, one in five women will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives or have already been victimized," Gipprich said.

The number for men is one in 20, with victims ranging in age from babies, to grown adults.

"We go to the hospital anywhere from two to three times in a day," Gipprich said. "So that means, in San Antonio at least two to three people, men, women, or children, are reporting that they've been victimized, and are going to a hospital to get a sexual assault exam, to get the resources that they need."

The problem, Gipprich said, is not attributed to any single element, but rather, several conditions in the community that allow perpetrators to harm others, as well as not holding attackers accountable for their actions.

Gipprich said because many victims often know their attackers, it can be difficult to come forward.

"We want people to know that the Rape Crisis Center doesn't own this issue, the community owns this issue," Gipprich said.  "We cannot stop sexual violence, we cannot make any type of change unless the community understands that it exists, and that they are called to action to say no more."

The Rape Crisis Center provides many services including crisis intervention, free counseling, and a 24-hour hotline, available via phone or the Internet.

For a list of recent stories Isis Romero has done, click here.

Click here to watch more videos on KSAT.com.