Senator Lisa Murkowski joined with Senator Mark Begich and Representative Don Young today in a show of support for Governor Parnell's "Choose Respect" initiative. The delegation participated in a rally at the U.S. Capitol, to stand together with all Alaskans to march against the plague of domestic violence and sexual assault that harms Alaska.
"We stand together with Governor Parnell as a nationwide network of Alaskan communities calling attention to the problem of sexual assaults and domestic violence," said Senator Murkowski. "Alaskans know that our state has unparalleled beauty, but it also has rates of violence that are simply unacceptable. I call out to everyone and ask every Alaskan to do what they can to change our reality. Whether you're leading your family and community by respectful examples or boldly stepping forward to tell your own story, the time has come for all Alaskans to Choose Respect today and every day."
"As we work to strengthen laws against domestic violence and work to support more funding for shelters, education and prevention, I am pleased to take part in the Choose Respect rally to help shine a spotlight on this issue," said Senator Begich. "As Alaskans stand together today, both in the state and in DC, our goal is to keep our families safe and to one day NOT have the distinction of having some of the highest rates of abuse in the country."
"I am proud to once again join with Alaskans across the state in showing our support for the Choose Respect initiative," said Representative Young. "The statistics speak for themselves -- Alaska's levels of domestic violence and sexual assault are intolerably high. Under no circumstances is domestic violence or sexual assault acceptable and it is my hope that by Choosing Respect, Alaskans will unite, stand together and put an end to the violence. I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to the Governor for his leadership on this and for bringing this important issue to the forefront."
Nearly one in two Alaska women have experienced partner violence and close to one in three have experienced sexual violence. Overall, nearly six in ten Alaska women have been victims of sexual assault or domestic violence.