Calling it a reality that all Alaskans have to face, Governor Parnell today said Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault are an epidemic that too many people have to face. And he made public a new initiative to fight the problem setting the goal of stopping the flood of cases — within a decade.
We’re going to make it intolerable. We’re going to make it unacceptable. And for those who commit these crimes, we’re going to make the consequences unbearable.
Parnell said that more than fifty percent of Alaska’s homicides involve domestic violence, that Alaska has two and a half times the national average of reported rapes, and that the rate of child sexual abuse in Alaska is six times higher than the national average.
I say, No More. We’re going to band together and we’re going to take our future back.
Parnell says the state will focus on putting more perpetrators behind bars. It will also offer more safe places and more legal support for victims. These measures will be combined with new attempts to prevent future attacks.
He promised a long list of steps the administration will take. Among them: fifteen new Village Public Safety Officers this year – and fifteen more every year for the next ten years. He also says the state will increase its commitment in the budget by offsetting federal funding decreases for legal support. And … he will propose legislation setting higher penalties for sex offenders – including provisions that will require offenders convicted in other states to be registered here.
A large part of the preventative measures he is ready to begin include an initial advertising campaign.
We will bring domestic violence and sexual assault into the open. The ads will promote a culture of respect that does not tolerate violence against women, children, anyone.
Parnell made the presentation to a group of students at Bartlett High School, where Attorney General Daniel Sullivan said the message would get to the people who could help. Sullivan said Alaska would reach its ten-year goal of not being the state with the worst domestic violence and sexual assault record in the nation because of the help of the students who would benefit from having a better place to live.