OVC Acting Director Katherine Darke Schmitt Commemorates Sexual Assault Prevention & Awareness Month
Every April, the Nation commemorates Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month. OVC Acting Director Katherine Darke Schmitt discusses our office's support for projects that serve victims of sexual assault. She also pays tribute to the dedicated service providers working to support victims, including forensic nurse examiner Kim Day, who is retiring after decades in service to victims of sexual violence.
KATHERINE DARKE SCHMITT: Anyone can be a victim of sexual violence, regardless of age, race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, socio-demographic background, or religion.
This month, the Office for Victims of Crime is proud to join with President Biden in his Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month proclamation, in which he charges us all to "work toward a society that upholds every person's right to live free from sexual violence."
The Office for Victims of Crime is here to help survivors access the services and the justice that they deserve. In 2020, OVC made more than $10 million in grant awards to support projects that affirm this commitment projects that provide transitional housing and shelter for victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, dating violence, and their companion animals; projects that support community response to female genital mutilation; projects that support online support services for youth who have been victims of sexual violence; and projects that support and sustain Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner programs in communities across the country.
This month, as we commemorate victims and survivors, we also think about the professionals and the victim service providers who have helped these survivors on their paths towards healing. And I can think of no one more deserving of our thanks than Kim Day. Kim is a forensic nurse examiner with more than 40 years of nursing experience. She is the lead on OVC's Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Technical Assistance Project and, to many in the field, she is both a trusted colleague and a friend. Kim is retiring this month and she leaves behind her a legacy of trauma-informed and holistic services for victims. She will be very much missed.
I ask all of you to join us in commemorating Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month. Please visit ovc.ojp.gov for more information about OVC's resources.
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