Recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

By Assistant Chief Jack Austin Jr.
April 3, 2023

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month calls attention to the fact that sexual violence is widespread across the United States and right here in the Choctaw Nation.

Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 9 minutes, that victim is a child, according to a recent government study. More than four in five Native Americans and Alaska Native men and women have experienced a form of violence in their lifetime — whether it be physical violence and/or psychological aggression from an intimate partner, sexual violence, or stalking — according to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). In addition, more than 1.5 million Native American and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime per an NIJ-funded study.

The Choctaw Nation recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month by holding several awareness programs, fellowship opportunities and events to bring awareness and support to victims. Here are a few of the upcoming events to raise awareness in the Choctaw Nation:

12th Annual Ryan’s Run

The 12th Annual Ryan’s Run to bring awareness against violence against children will be held April 1 in McAlester. The event will start and finish at Jackie Brannon Correction Center at 901 N. West Street in McAlester. Pre-registration fee is $35 or $25 for the Fun Run. The day of the event registration fee is $40 and $30 for the Fun Run. The event starts at 8:30 a.m. and 8:35 a.m. for the Fun Run. Medals will be awarded to the top three males and females in each 5K age group.

Kick Up Your Heels

Help the Choctaw Nation raise awareness for sexual assaults by joining the Kick Up Your Heels walk Saturday, April 15, at 10 a.m. During the event, men are encouraged to take a stand against sexual violence by taking a lap around the pond in high heels. Registration for the event begins at 9:30 a.m. The walk will start at 10 a.m.

Self-Defense Classes

  • April 3, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Whitefield School Gym
  • April 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Southeastern State University Student Union
  • April 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Boys & Girls Club in Talihina
  • April 27, 5:30-7:30 p.m., First Assembly of God in Broken Bow

Get out and raise awareness for sexual assault awareness and prevention month. Know your surroundings and the signs of violence before it happens to you or someone you know. To identify signs of trauma in children, teens or adults, the U.S. Department of Justice has set up a website to illustrate warning signs of abuse.

Visit here to see the early warning signs of abuse and trauma.

I want to say yakoke for supporting the referenced events, educating yourself on this important topic, and helping the Choctaw Nation recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.