Use Your Voice, Change the Culture: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

- FOX 46 Charlotte is working to uncover what happened inside a Plaza-Midwood massage studio. This comes after a 41-year-old woman filed a police report claiming she was sexually assaulted inside.

The victim told authorities she was assaulted at Okra Massage and Therapeutic Services on April 7. April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, so FOX 46 Charlotte spoke to one organization about the importance of drawing attention to the issue to try and prevent more of these crimes from happening.

Related: Sexual assault reported at Plaza-Midwood massage studio

The month of April is dedicated to raising awareness of sexual assault crimes.

“It’s extremely important because we know this is common. It happens to tons of people every year and it’s stigmatized and hard to bring up in topics of conversation.”

It’s a trauma that happens every day.

“There are so many symptoms, every case is really different.”

Just this week a woman filed a police report in Charlotte saying she was sexually assaulted at a massage and yoga studio in Plaza-Midwood. FOX 46 Charlotte reached out by email to the owners but received an automatic reply saying they’re out of the office until Sunday.

When FOX 46 Charlotte stopped by this week employees there said they haven’t heard anything about it, not even from police or any of their customers.

According to Safe Alliance, when it comes to sexual assaults most victims know their perpetrators and most victims also wait to report the crime.

“That’s actually extremely common and again there is such a wide variety of reasons but one is that sigma related to sex assault and people are unsure about that reporting process whatever the reporting process may be.”

Safe Alliance advocates want victims of sexual assault to know they’re here to help and they’re always just a phone call away.

“The only thing that can prevent sexual assault is for people to not assault people, so I feel all these events we have happening in April bring awareness to that and our website has information on that we well as our services.”

FOX 46 Charlotte will continue to stay on top of this story and report any new developments. There are several events to bring attention to Sexual Assault Awareness Month including Wear Denim to the Workplace Day on April 26. 

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