April is national Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). In recognition, the Sex Abuse Treatment Center (SATC), a program of Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, today released a report examining 10 years of sexual assault in Hawaii. “Sexual Assault Victims in Honolulu: a 2001-2010 Statistical Profile” provides a descriptive analysis of 4,834 sexual assault victims who received services through SATC from mid-2001 through 2010. It also examines trends over the past 20 years across 9,929 victims, comparing these findings with those from the prior decade.
Other SAAM events include:
- Proclamations by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the City Council on Tuesday, April 2nd at 1:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, recognizing the civilian and military Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) on Oahu. It is the first time civilian and military SARTs are being recognized together.
- A free online “Start the Conversation Toolkit” at www.satchawaii.org. The Conversation Toolkit is designed to help parents talk with their teen and preteen about staying safe and developing healthy relationships with others. It includes facts and conversation guides on teen dating abuse, online safety and more.
- A free performance and forum of the interactive plays “Girls Choice” and “Boys Choice,” Tuesday, April 30 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. at Tenney Theatre, in partnership with Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HTY). RSVP to the HTY box office at 839-9885, ext. 720.
Key findings reported in “Sexual Assault Victims in Honolulu: a 2001-2010 Statistical Profile” include:
- Referrals to SATC have changed significantly over time with more referrals now coming from schools, workplaces, and agencies other than the police.
- Increased reporting of cases of juvenile victims. This may indicate that professionals are aware of and complying with mandatory reporting laws with greater frequency.
- Alcohol use plays a significant role in sexual assaults of both children and adults. On average, over half of all offenders had been using alcohol at the time of the assault.
- Honolulu data on sexual assault has been remarkably consistent over time and closely aligns with national statistics.
SATC Executive Director Adriana Ramelli said, “The findings in this report are encouraging. We believe that the trend of significantly more referrals coming from sources other than the police is a good one. The movement towards more referrals from schools, colleges and workplaces suggest more awareness of SATC as a resource in the broader community. This increased support provides multiple pathways for victims to access information and services.”
SATC Clinical Program Manager Dr. Evelyn Yanagida added that another notable trend shows official police reports are increasing in cases of sexual assault of children and youth. This may be partly due to mandatory reporting laws in conjunction with adult concern and compliance with reporting mandates. “Both point to a greater awareness of sexual assault and the need for reporting, which ultimately helps make SATC services more widely available to survivors,” she said.
The report was authored by Dawna Nelson, MSW, Evelyn Yanagida, Ph.D. and Carol Plummer, Ph.D. Funds for this report were partially provided by the Hawaii State Department of the Attorney General, Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division. The full report is available by calling SATC at 535-7600.