Sen. Marty Knollenberg
Sen. Marty Knollenberg

LANSING, Mich. — A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Wednesday approved a pair of resolutions that bring awareness to the problem of sexual assault, with one resolution specifically targeting on-campus assaults.

“The first step is to get people talking about it — to make them realize this is a very real, and growing issue,” said state Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy. “I’m proud to be part of a bipartisan group coming together and addressing that there is still work that remains to be done to prevent sexual assault and support victims.”

Senate Resolutions 168 seeks to draw more attention to the issue of sexual assaults by designating April 2016 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Michigan. SR 169 goes one step further and marks April 2016 as Campus Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. The resolutions are intended to draw attention to the fact that sexual violence is widespread and impacts every community.

“This issue is not specific to any race, religion, age or orientation,” Knollenberg said. “Sexual violence affects women and men across every demographic. We need to encourage more discussion and more action to ensure we treat this issue with the seriousness it deserves.”

Knollenberg encouraged residents statewide to participate in any events that raise awareness, or work to prevent sexual violence. He noted those with children in college, or that will be going off to college in the near future should pay particularly close attention to ways that they can keep their kids safe.

“College campuses are of particular concern,” said Knollenberg. “Going off to college is a time that is meant to be enjoyable and helpful for a student’s transition into adulthood. Unfortunately, many of our students are victims of these crimes. We need to continue working with students, parents, schools, and law enforcement as we address this issue.”

SRs 168 and 169 were both approved by the Senate. To further highlight the need to address sexual assault, identical resolutions were approved by the House.