KASAP Announces Powerful Statewide Sexual Assault Survivor Documentary
“Believe Me” to air during Sexual Assault Awareness Month on KET
Frankfort, Ky. – The Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP) has produced a statewide documentary with 12 sexual violence survivors and counselors to raise awareness of the impact of sexual assault on local communities and the resources available in Kentucky to help survivors across the Commonwealth. The hour-long documentary “Believe Me – Help and Hope for Sexual Assault Survivors” will share powerful stories from Kentucky survivors to offer hope to those with similar experiences. The documentary will air during Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month on KET.
According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, over half of women and nearly 1 in 3 men in the United States have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetime. In Kentucky, more than 39% of women and 18% of men have experienced contact sexual violence in their lifetime. According to data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, almost half of those raped in Kentucky had their first victimization when they were under the age of 18. Additionally, 82% of first victimizations in the state happened before the age of 25.
“Sexual violence is not just a local issue. It affects every community in Kentucky, and often by people the survivor knows, as statistics show that 88% of contact sexual violence is perpetrated by an intimate partner, family member or acquaintance. With this documentary, we hope to reach all survivors of sexual violence in our state, so they know they are not alone and that there are resources available to help them,” said Missie Quillen, Executive Director, Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs. “We are so grateful to the survivors who were willing to share their personal stories to reach others in Kentucky with their message of hope and healing. We hope people will take the time to watch a documentary that touches on an issue that truly impacts so many of our loved ones and friends.”
KASAP is the statewide coalition of the 13 regional sexual assault programs that serve every county in the Commonwealth. The KASAP mission is to speak with a unified voice against sexual violence through education, advocacy, and prevention. KASAP’s local programs are not limited to survivors of rape but also serve survivors of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual violence.
“We are proud to be part of this coalition and to participate in the work KASAP is doing to make a difference in our state, including with this documentary,” said Latisha Jackson, Executive Director, Ampersand Sexual Violence Resource Center. “Our work is making a difference in the local communities we serve and for the survivors who are healing. No matter when someone’s sexual assault experience occurred, whether recently or decades ago, we are here to listen and help.”
Khadijah Ahmad and Amelia Zachry are two local survivors who were part of the documentary. They say the work local centers are providing to survivors is crucial.
“I feel like the norm for a lot of families is that children are abused and then they are married off to be abused by their partners. And it’s like…I hope we’re in a place today where that’s not going to be the case anymore and that people who may have been harmed when they were younger can heal and leave those situations and learn what healthy relationships look like,” said Ahmad. “That’s a big thing in the work I do working with younger girls and teaching them what’s okay and what isn’t okay – to stop the cycle in some way, shape or form.”
“What I would say to another survivor is, first of all, I see you, I believe you, you are not alone, and you are enough,” said Zachry. “There is hope, there is a dimly lit path leading somewhere and there is light at the end. I know it’s hard to see that when you’re forced into a corner, it’s hard to see, but have hope that it is there. Every one of us has a light in us, and to another survivor, protect your spark. It may be a little tiny spark that’s still there, but it’s still there. And fan that flame when the time comes, and you will be ablaze again.”
Local centers and organizations that are part of the KASAP coalition include Lotus Children’s Advocacy & Sexual Violence Resource Center (Region 1), Sanctuary, Inc. (Region 2), New Beginnings Sexual Assault Support Services (Region 3), Hope Harbor, Inc. (Region 4), Silverleaf Sexual Trauma Recovery Services (Region 5), The Center for Women and Families (Region 6), The Ion Center for Violence Prevention (Region 7 & 8), Pathways, Inc. (Region 9 & 10), Mountain Comprehensive Care Center’s Healing Program for Survivors of Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence (Region 11), The Rising Center (Region 12), Cumberland River Victims Services (Region 13), Adanta Sexual Assault Resource Center (ASARC)(Region 14), and Ampersand Sexual Violence Resource Center of the Bluegrass (Region 15).
“Believe Me – Help and Hope for Sexual Assault Survivors” will air Tuesday, April 25 at 9:00 p.m. EST (KET 3 Kentucky Channel), Wednesday, April 26 at 1:30 p.m. EST (KET 3 Kentucky Channel), and Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m. EST (KET).
To view a 30-second promo of the documentary, click here.
About the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs
The Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc. (KASAP) is the statewide coalition of the 13 regional rape crisis centers in the Commonwealth. The mission of KASAP is to speak with a unified voice against sexual victimization. We are committed to serving all survivors and working toward the prevention of sexual violence. We acknowledge that sexual violence does not happen in a vacuum; it impacts different groups in different ways. We also recognize that each individual survivor and community member come to our programs with diverse backgrounds and multi-layered identities that affect their access to medical and sexual assault services, experience with the Justice system, needs, and feelings of safety. As service providers, we are committed to meeting people where they are and working to ensure that our services are inclusive and responsive to the real needs of survivors.
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