Seems a week can’t go by without a story in the news about sexual violence, abuse or molestation. Are the number of crimes going up, or are people more willing to report the incident? Kilo Marie Granda, executive director of Unspoken Voices in Morris, told KMRS that she’s seen more sexual assaults reported in Stevens County in the past 12 months, as well as an uptick in sex trafficking.

Granda noted that, statistically, only 1 percent of rapes ever get reported, with less than 5 to 6 percent of those ever seeing jail time. With victims often getting blamed for the crime and having their lives turned upside down, Granda fears a backlash that will quiet victims’ voices.

Unspoken Voices will host a Consent Panel 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Lower Level of the Humanities Fine Arts building, Room 6, on the campus of the University of Minnesota Morris. Representatives from Someplace Safe and law enforcement will also be there, and there will be a topical performance by the Unspoken Voices theater troupe. A community performance will also be held November 30 in the Black Box Theater at UM Morris. Go to unspokenvoices.net for a complete schedule of upcoming events.

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