Lawmakers offer bipartisan resolution highlighting sexual assault prevention

House lawmakers on Friday introduced a bipartisan resolution that aims to highlight efforts to prevent sexual assault.

Reps. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierEpstein death sparks questions for federal government Overnight Defense: Senate fails to override Trump veto on Saudi arms sales | Two US troops killed in Afghanistan | Senators tee up nominations, budget deal ahead of recess Democrats see window closing for impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) and Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedRepublicans' rendezvous with reality — their plan is to cut Social Security The Democratic plan for smaller paychecks House passes bill to update tax code to help same-sex married couples MORE (R-N.Y.) are spearheading a measure that would designate April as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

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The resolution, which has 28 co-sponsors, calls for educating the public about sexual violence and boosting sexual assault prevention programs, as well as improved treatment for survivors and increased prosecution of perpetrators.

The resolution cites statistics from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network showing that for every 1,000 rapes committed, only about 330 are reported to law enforcement officials, with just six of those cases leading to a felony conviction.

“The reckoning we’ve seen in every sector across the country against those who use their positions of power to not only commit abuses, but to get away with them, has erupted into a national awakening and pushed our fight against sexual violence forward,” Speier said in a statement Friday.

The measure comes about two years into the "MeToo" era, which has changed the political landscape as more and more victims go public in describing incidents ranging from sexual harassment and misconduct to assault. 

“Every 92 seconds another American is sexually assaulted,” Reed said. “We care about the men, women and children who have been the unfair victims of these heinous crimes, and cannot afford to let survivors live in shame and in the shadows any longer.”