The Fairfax County Police Department joins the Office for Women and Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (OFWDSVS), along with other community partners in observing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The commemorative month began in 2001 to recognize and remember those impacted by sexual assault violence, as well as those who strive to end it.
In 2016, the police department received 276 reports of sexual assault — an increase of 16.95 percent compared to 2015: 147 of these crimes (53.26 percent) have been successfully closed, but that's an average of nearly 23 a month, close to one a day — according to FCPD Media Relations Bureau. Many incidents, however, are believed to go unreported, so FCPD is helping to raise community awareness in a number of ways. For the first time, police vehicles, along with fleets from the county Fire and Rescue Department and Sheriff’s Office, will display teal ribbon magnets as a symbol of remembrance and support of those who have suffered sexual assault.
On April 29, the OFWDSVS hosts the 3rd Annual Stop the Silence, Walk to End Sexual Violence starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, in Fairfax. Participants can walk in honor of one of the 276 victims who reported a sexual assault in Fairfax County in 2016. A resource fair will be held after the walk. The first 100 participants who register will receive a free T-shirt. For more events this month, visit www.fairfaxdvcommunity.org/saam.