September 13, 2017

For Immediate Release: KCSARC & CEGV Respond to Murray Resignation

By:

Category: Gender-Based Violence

September 13, 2017 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Mary Ellen Stone, Executive Director
King County Sexual Assault Resource Center
(425) 282-0354 – mstone@kcsarc.org

Merril Cousin, Executive Director
Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence
(206) 568-5454 – merril@endgv.org

KCSARC and CEGV Respond to Murray Resignation

RENTON and SEATTLE, Washington – King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC) and the Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence (CEGV) acknowledge the five men who’ve come forward with allegations of sexual assault from years ago against Mayor Murray. KCSARC and the Coalition believe Mayor Murray’s decision to step down from his role as Mayor of Seattle is the right one.

“The events of the past few months remind us once again that victims of sexual assault need to be heard, respected and believed,” said Merril Cousin, CEGV Executive Director. “We should never dismiss reports of sexual assault simply because they are contrary to what we want to believe.”

“The reports of assaults by Mayor Murray mirror those our staff hear every day,” said Mary Ellen Stone, KCSARC Executive Director. “Anyone needing assistance or support should be assured we are here for you and your families.”

We know that false allegations of sexual abuse and assault are extremely rare. In fact, reluctance to speak out about the experience is the norm, and the vast majority of cases are never reported. Adult survivors of childhood sexual assault have a very difficult time bringing forward events that took place decades ago. People who have used drugs and alcohol, who have criminal records, who are LGBTQ, or are in other ways marginalized are particularly vulnerable to assault. They are also least likely to be believed, and most likely to be blamed.

Victims deserve support and respect when speaking out about their experience, regardless of who they are or who the offender is. Blaming victims discourages all victims from coming forward, which prevents them from getting the help they need. It also prevents us from understanding the nature of sexual assault and holding offenders accountable.

Prevention is possible. Everyone, including community leaders, must work to create a community that operates with values of fairness, consent, mutuality, respect and equity.

KCSARC and CEGV member programs exist to help victims and their families recover and reclaim their lives. We are available to anyone who wants information or assistance.

If you have experienced sexual assault and need support, or if you would like more information about sexual violence, call King County Sexual Assault Resource Center’s 24-hour Resource Line at 888.99.VOICE or visit www.endgv.org/local-services.

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King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC) founded in 1976, is a non-profit organization that ensures all people affected by sexual violence and abuse get the treatment they need and the advocacy they deserve. KCSARC is at the forefront of change, guiding public policy development and delivering research-based education to create safer environments for everyone.

The Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence, formerly King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, works collectively with over 40 member agencies to end gender-based violence and promote equitable relationships. We’re here to support our member’s efforts so that they have tools and resources to work more effectively. We fight for protective legislation, policies, and funding at the state and local levels to improve how our communities handle sexual and domestic violence. Together, we can create safe and just communities where all people thrive.

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Download statement here: [FINAL] Murray Resignation Press Release 9-13-2017