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    BALTIMORE, MD (April 2, 2012) – About 1 in 5 adult women and 1 in 6 adult men in Maryland has been the victim of sexual violence sometime in their lifetime, according to a 2010 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) joins other states across the nation in promoting awareness and highlighting prevention efforts during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
    This year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign theme is “Its Time…To Talk About It!” The campaign calls for people to discuss healthy sexuality and encourages communities and individuals to promote healthy behaviors, including relationships that are consensual, respectful and informed.
    Sexual violence can affect anyone in a community regardless of age. Parents and caregivers can help protect their children from sexual violence by talking to them about healthy sexual development. Adults, too, can benefit by having discussions with sexual violence prevention professionals. By starting and having the conversation at any age, we can build safe, healthy relationships and communities.
    DHMH provides funding assistance for rape prevention education to the 17 rape crisis and recovery centers located throughout the state. For additional information and resources regarding healthy sexuality and tips for parents and professionals, visit http://fha.dhmh.maryland.gov/ohpetup/SitePages/rsapp_home.aspx.

    Stay connected: www.twitter.com/MarylandDHMH or www.facebook.com/MarylandDHMH