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Attorney General to visit WKU Feb. 22 for event to promote #VoiceofJustice video contest

Beshear, Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs announce contest to raise awareness on college campuses

Attorney General Andy Beshear will visit WKU on Wednesday morning (Feb. 22) to encourage the campus community to participate in the #VoiceofJustice video contest.

The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. CST at WKU’s Downing Student Union.

On Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 21), Beshear joined Eileen Recktenwald, director of the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP), to announce the contest via Facebook Live.

Beshear’s Office and KASAP created the contest to raise awareness and bring transparency to campus sexual assault.

Despite one in five women and one in 16 men being sexually assaulted while in college in 2015, only 36 sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement on Kentucky’s public university campuses.

“Only about 10 percent of rapes on campus are reported and that number has to rise,” Beshear said. “The #VoiceofJustice video contest is another way we seek to raise awareness and engage members of the campus community on preventing and reporting sexual assault.”

“For more than 30 years, the Commonwealth has funded the statewide network of rape crisis centers so that no matter where or when sexual assault happens, help is available,” Recktenwald said. “This contest helps raise awareness about the hotline and lets victims know that help is there when they need it.”

The contest requires each video entry to be 30 seconds, contain information on the 24/7 free and confidential Sexual Assault Hotline, 800-656-HOPE and increase:

  • Awareness of campus sexual assault,
  • Active bystanding to prevent sexual assault, or
  • Reporting, investigations and prosecutions of campus sexual assault.

The video with the most views on the KyOAG YouTube channel will be the “Viral” winner and will receive a $500 cash prize. A second $500 cash prize winner will be chosen by a panel of survivors and advocates. Beshear and KASAP will help promote the top videos and other video submissions as public service announcements around the state.

Clorissa Novak, a member of the Office of the Attorney General’s newly created Survivors Council, is one of the contest judges.

“Initiatives like this are important, not only because they raise awareness about community resources, but also because they let survivors of sexual violence on campus know that they are not alone,” Novak said. “Too often survivors face stigma from the community when they start to tell their stories. This is a chance for us as a Commonwealth to let them know that we see them, and more importantly, we believe them.”

All submissions are due no later than April 1, and winners will be announced in April in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

Complete entries include a 30-second video, video contest entry form and talent release forms to be uploaded together to Dropbox.com and shared with the executive director of Beshear’s Office of Victims Advocacy, Gretchen Hunt, at Gretchen.Hunt@ky.gov.

For a complete list of #VoiceofJustice eligibility, rules, entry forms and contact information, visit http://ag.ky.gov/family/victims/voice-of-justice.

In addition to his visit at WKU, Beshear will hold other events at Kentucky’s colleges and universities in February and March to encourage students, faculty and organizations to participate in the contest.

Last year, the Office of the Attorney General and KASAP sponsored a similar video contest, Voice of Hope. The top prize went to a student at Bellarmine University, followed by entries from students at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College and Berea College.

The contest is part of Beshear’s mission to seek justice for victims of sexual assault and bring transparency to the reporting of sexual assaults on college campuses.

For information about services offered by Beshear’s Office of Victim’s Advocacy, visit ag.ky.gov or call 800-372-2551. For more information, visit kasap.org or call 502-226-2704.

Contact: Terry Sebastian, (502) 696-5300

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