Campaigns are being launched across the state to bring awareness to the ongoing problems of sexual assault, child abuse and other acts of domestic violence. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports.
Studies show that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted by age 18. Those are statistics that Courtney Price of Jackson learned the hard way.
"I was actually molested as a child and it continued with my biological father."
Because of that horrific incident Price founded, Y-Focus, a nonprofit group that mentors young teens who have overcome similar situations.
"I held it in as a lot of our young women are doing today which is why this is so important of bringing awareness. I was one that kept it in for well over 12 years and dealt with it interpersonally. And it does help to bring it out in your own way and we make that way creative with Y-Focus With the Arts Therapy."
Like Price, Jackson resident Jovanda White chooses to speak out about her experience as a way to help others.
"It was a stranger rape. I won’t date myself but I'm certainly over the age of 18 so I don't fall into the demographic of younger women that are being raped. And I was at work when it happened. He came into my place of employment, stalked me for in excess of 6 months. And decided that because he was attracted to me that was his only, in his mind it was his only option and to be quite honest with you it probably was."
Hinds County Sheriff’s Department Victim Assistance Coordinator, Keanna Ward, says she hopes both messages will resonate with all Mississippians.
"1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped in some point of their lives. It affects the homes. It affects the people that live in this community. It takes place at school. It's no limit to where someone can be sexually assaulted."
Statistics show that out of every 100 rapes in Mississippi only about 12 lead to an arrest because many victims are afraid to report it. April marks domestic violence and child abuse awareness months. Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.