Sexual Assault Awareness Month calls attention to the fact that sexual violence is widespread and impacts every person in this community. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Statistics underestimate the problem of sexual violence because many of those affected by assaults do not tell police, family, or friends about the violence. It is estimated that only one out of every three sexual assault cases are actually reported to the police.

Sexual violence impacts health in many ways and can lead to long-term physical and mental health problems such as chronic pain, headaches, and sexually transmitted diseases. Many sexual assault survivors struggle with a range of mental health issues that may include anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide. San Juan Basin Public Health’s (SJBPH) sexual health clinic creates a safe place where individuals can report and find community resources for help. The clinic provides affordable sexual health care to men, women, and teens including sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, annual exams, and birth control.

For more information or to make an appointment call SJBPH at 970-335-2003 (La Plata County) or 970-264-2409 (Archuleta County).

Other community resources include:

Axis Health System: 970-259-2162
Sexual Assault Services Organization (SASO) free hotline: 970-247-5400
Volunteers of America Southwest Safe House: 970-259-5443

We must work together to educate our community about sexual violence prevention, supporting survivors, and speaking out against harmful attitudes and actions. When we actively get involved we can prevent sexual violence. The first step is increasing education, awareness, and community involvement. It’s time for all of us to take action to create a safer environment for all.