Reported sexual assault cases rising in our area

Amarillo, TX - It's a crime that continues to grow in our area even though the nationwide average is dropping.

More area women and children are falling victim to sexual assault.

Family Support Services says there have been more than 450 victims within the last fiscal year and 40-percent of those are children.

Survivors of the crime spend a long time healing and recovering.

They struggle with depression, keeping healthy relationships and lack of trust.

The Amarillo Police Department tells us 80-percent of victims know their offender.

The biggest hurdle police face in prosecuting, is determining whether the incident was consensual by both parties.

An area clinician we spoke with says he continues to see an increase in reported cases.

"We know that it happens more often with females. The FBI says about one-in-four females are sexually abused sometime between the age of zero and eighteen, but those just include reported cases and convicted prosecuted cases. Clinicians probably think it's one-in-three to even as high as one-in-two," says Dr. Gerald Rogers, Clinical Sexologist.

Family Support Services has their Human Ribbon event for Sexual Assault Awareness Month this Friday, April 13th at Westgate Mall Center Court at 6 p.m.

This is free to the public and those who wish to participate are asked to wear a teal colored shirt.