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April 16, 2010

Washington, D.C. – NNEDV today recognized April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Financial Literacy Month – key issues for victims of domestic and sexual violence.  Many victims of domestic violence, teen dating violence and stalking are also the victims of rape and sexual assault.  At the same time, one of the greatest barriers to escaping a pattern of abusive behavior is economics.  

“This April, let us renew our efforts to end sexual violence through education and prevention,” said Sue Else, NNEDV’s president.  “The economy is exacerbating sexual assault, and, at the same time, the economy is limiting survivors’ options to get help.” 

NNEDV has teamed up with The Allstate Foundation to create a unique program that is helping survivors of abuse become financially literate and independent from those who continuously perpetrate abuse against them.  Part of the program includes a comprehensive curriculum to help educate victims of intimate partner violence on everything from day-to-day budgeting to long-term retirement planning to improving a damaged credit score.   

“Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Financial Literacy Month encourage everyone to speak out against sexual violence and also to become savvier with finances,” said Else.  “I urge communities to come together to put a stop to the horrendous violence once and for all.” One in six women and one in 33 men are sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. T

hough reporting sexual assault to police has increased one-third since 1993, 60 percent of sexual assault still goes unreported.  Only 6 percent of rapists ever spend time in jail for their crimes.   

Ninety-nine percent of women who experience physical violence in an intimate relationship also experience some form of economic abuse – abusers using finances to control and trap a spouse or partner.   

For more information about the partnership between NNEDV and The Allstate Foundation, visit http://nnedv.org/projects/allstatefoundtion.html and http://www.clicktoempower.org/.    

To view Else’s short video message recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Financial Literacy Month, visit http://bit.ly/aiQyp9.

UPDATE:  NNEDV was honored and grateful that Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL-13) mentioned on the House floor The Allstate Foundation and NNEDV's work on economic empowerment.  You can view her remarks here: http://bit.ly/9kTu7J.