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Someplace Safe hosts 5K walk/run May 14

Someplace Safe's second annual 5K Walk/Run for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention is on tap Saturday.

Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and the race begins at 8 a.m. at the Sunnybrook Park/Campground in Wadena. It will be a timed event. The cost to register is $20

The walk/run will be held regardless of weather.

Registration forms can be picked up at Someplace Safe, 309 Jefferson St. S. in Wadena or by calling (218) 631-3311 or

According to the National Sexual Assault Resource Center, sexual assault can be defined as any type of unwanted sexual contact, ranging from sexist attitudes and actions to rape and murder. Sexual assault can include words and actions of a sexual nature against a person's will.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) coordinates the national Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign each year. NSVRC leads the U.S. in promoting comprehensive prevention of sexual violence through research, resources and collaboration.

Sexual assault is a serious and widespread problem.

According to NSVRC, nearly one in five women in the United States have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lives and one in 71 men have experienced rape or attempted rape. Nearly one in two women and one in five men have experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lifetime.

Sexual assault is a public health issue affecting women, men, children, families and communities. Victims of sexual assault often experience short-term consequences including guilt, shame, fear, numbness, shock and feelings of isolation, according to NSVRC. Victims may also experience long-term health risks and behaviors such as PTSD, eating disorders, depression, pregnancy and STIs.

According to NSVRC:

• Understanding victim behavior and its social context is critical to understanding the obstacles victims face in reporting. Research shows that rates of false reporting are frequently inflated, in part because of inconsistent definitions and protocols or a weak understanding of sexual assault. Misconceptions about false reporting rates have direct, negative consequences and can contribute to why many victims don't report sexual assaults.

• The majority of sexual assaults - an estimated 63 percent - are never reported to the police. The prevalence of false reporting cases of sexual violence is low yet when survivors come forward, many face scrutiny or encounter barriers.

• Some reasons a victim might not chose to report abuse may include fear that they will not be believed or fear retaliation. Often, victims are pressured by others not to tell. Others might delay reporting the abuse. Victims might worry about how reporting will affect them or their family/friends. Further, they might be fearful of family fracture if the person sexually assaulting them is a family member. Some victims distrust law enforcement. Also, completing the forensic exam or "rape kit" can be difficult for victims.

Someplace Safe in Wadena provides support for victims of abuse. For more information, go to or find Someplace Safe Wadena Office on Facebook.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561