The Sex Abuse Treatment Center Recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month


Teal ribbon with text: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month nationwide, and in Hawaii, The Sex Abuse Treatment Center (SATC) says that the number of people who are requesting help is growing. More than half of the sex assault victims SATC treated for the first time in 2023 were children. The youngest victim was less than a year old.

“Sexual violence can happen to anyone,” Lynn Costales Matsuoka, SATC executive director, said. “We know it is not easy to come forward and report a sex assault or to reach out for services, but we will be here for you when you are ready.”

Here’s some additional information about SATC in 2023:

  • 642 survivors connected with SATC for the first time. Of those, 52% were minors.
  • 5% were younger than 5 years old.
  • 22% were 5 to 12 years old.
  • 25% were 13 to 17 years old.
  • 2,464 callers received help through SATC’s 24/7 confidential crisis hotline (808-524-7273), which is an increase of about 700 callers from 2022.
  • More than 1,000 sex assault survivors received crisis counseling, clinical services and support.
  • 269 sex assault survivors received medical forensic examinations.
  • 5,202 community members statewide were educated about preventing sexual violence.

More than 30% of sex assault survivors who received SATC services in 2023 were of Native Hawaiian ancestry—the largest represented ethnicity in SATC’s database. In an effort to raise awareness in the Native Hawaiian community, The Sex Abuse Treatment Center is launching a new outreach video available in both English and Olelo Hawaii.

“A lot of thought and consideration went into the creation of this powerful video,” Costales Matsuoka said. “Conversations about sex abuse are often difficult and uncomfortable, but we want families to know these discussions with loved ones are extremely important.”

On April 24, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi will proclaim “Denim Day” in Honolulu. Denim Day encourages communities to support sex assault survivors by wearing denim. This global movement began in 1999, when a Supreme Court in Italy overturned a rape conviction. The justices said the victim must have helped her rapist remove the tight jeans she was wearing, thereby consenting to sex. The day after the conviction was overturned, women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim.

SATC is asking people to show their support for sex assault survivors on April 24 by wearing denim, posting a photo on social media and tagging @KapiolaniMedCtr on Instagram or @KapiolaniMedicalCenter on Facebook or using the hashtag #Kapiolani.

The Sex Abuse Treatment Center is a program of Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children that offers help to people statewide. SATC is supported by the Kapiolani Health Foundation and relies on community support to help fund its services. To learn more or to donate, visit

Video: Talk to Your Loved Ones About Sexual Abuse

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Liz Chun Uyehara