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Preventing & Responding to Sexual Violence

September 27, 2012
2012 Sexual Violence Symposium will take place on October 15-16.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and I can’t help but think about the recent statistics which indicate that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced physical violence from an intimate partner. I also think about how widespread sexual violence is in this country, and even in this state. Nationally, nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped at some point in their lives, and 80% of female victims experienced their first rape before the age of 25. Many of these rapes are perpetrated by an intimate partner or someone known to the victim. And just last year in Georgia, there were a total of 2,050 rapes reported to law enforcement. However, if only 39% of all rapes and other types of sexual assault are ever reported to law enforcement, this means that the number reported last year is not even half of what may actually be occurring.

I invite you all to come and learn about ways to prevent and respond to sexual violence at the 2012 Georgia Symposium on Sexual Violence. The Symposium is a partnership between the Governor’s Office for Children and Families, the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault and will take place on October 15-16 at the Atlanta Marriott Century Center in Atlanta.

It is our hope that Symposium attendees will obtain the tools needed to prevent sexual violence before it occurs, provide effective services after an incident has occurred, and give survivors appropriate long term care. If you'd like to attend the Symposium, you can register here

We hope to see you at the Symposium!

About the Author

Katie Jo Ballard currently serves as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families. She previously served as the Director of Constituent Services for the Governor’s Office. Ballard received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Public Health from the University of Georgia.  She also obtained a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Disaster Management and an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Leadership and Service from the University of Georgia. She coauthored “The effects of per chlorate on thyroidal gene expression are different from the effects of iodide deficiency,” which was published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.

She is the Vice-Chairman of the Georgia Children’s Cabinet. She also serves on the Agency Leadership Team, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Crime Victim’s Compensation Board, Ready by 21 Leadership Council, and the Supreme Court’s Justice for Children Committee. She and her husband, Dylan, live in Atlanta and are members of Buckhead Church.