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Partners for Change Recognize Local Champions in the Fight Against Sexual Assault

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Partners for Change

Scott Berkowitz and Gov. Perry of Texas present McAfee Sr. VP, Robert Humphrey, with the Partners for Change Award

September 26, 2007 — (San Antonio, TX) —Local, state and national anti-sexual assault organizations, The Rape Crisis Center for Children & Adults, the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) and RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), joined forces to recognize three Texas partners in the fight against sexual assault with a special benefit event, “Coming Together to End Sexual Violence.” The event featured a presentation of the first Partners for Change awards at Pearl Stable in San Antonio. Recipients of the 2007 Partners for Change awards included Spurs Sports & Entertainment, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, and McAfee, Inc. Special guests Governor Rick Perry, John and Weisie Steen, Peter Holt, The Rick Cavender Band, Emory Quinn and Mistress of Ceremonies Cynthia Lee from FOX affiliate KABB were also on hand to celebrate the efforts of the honorees.

McAfee has shown an incredible level of commitment to sexual assault victims by ensuring the safety and security of online sexual assault crisis intervention.
— Scott Berkowitz, RAINN

The Rape Crisis Center for Children & Adults in San Antonio has taken a leading role in the fight against teen dating violence and partnered with Spurs Sports & Entertainment last year to launch a local initiative targeting local youth. According to President & CEO M. Lynn Blanco, “Almost half of all sexual assault victims are younger than 18 years old. Through the ‘Choose Respect’ Initiative, Spurs Sports & Entertainment and the Silver Stars are making a difference in the lives of San Antonio-area teens. We are thankful for their dedication to the prevention to dating violence in our community.” The initiative targets this critical audience with information about healthy relationships and messages that dating abuse is not just unacceptable, but preventable by choosing respect.

Speaking to state-level efforts to end sexual violence, TAASA Executive Director Annette Burrhus-Clay applauded Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, saying, “It is through the continued support of public servants like General Abbott that Texas leads the way in targeting child sex predators. He has made capturing online sexual predators a top priority of his administration, increasing the safety of Texas communities.” Two programs implemented by the Attorney General, Cyber Crimes Unit and Fugitive Unit, have resulted in more than 600 arrests of such offenders and convictions against more than 70 people on child pornography charges.

Collaboration with a Texas based company has also been crucial in the fight against sexual assault at the national level. McAfee, Inc. has partnered with RAINN on a new service providing online help for victims of sexual assault. The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, currently in the pilot phase, is the first secure web-based crisis hotline providing live and anonymous support. “McAfee has shown an incredible level of commitment to sexual assault victims by ensuring the safety and security of online sexual assault crisis intervention,” said Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of RAINN. “As the world’s largest dedicated Internet security provider, McAfee’s role in providing extensive security reviews, testing and audits of RAINN’s sexual assault crisis intervention service, helps ensure the safety and security of users of the online hotline so they can be confident that their conversations are secure.”

Every 2 minutes, someone in America is sexually assaulted. In Texas alone, 1 in 5 women, and 1 in 20 men are victims of sexual assault, resulting in more than 2 million sexual assault survivors. Education, prosecution and victim services all play an integral role in the fight to end sexual abuse and each Partners for Change award recipient has made a valuable contribution to this fight.

About The Rape Crisis Center

In November 1975 a group of concerned victims banded together to incorporate as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. These visionary leaders embarked on a grassroots effort to address the needs of sexual violence victims, their families and the community at large. Today The Rape Crisis Center for Children & Adults has grown into a full service agency, addressing prevention, education, crisis intervention, counseling and advocacy, as well as continuing the strong base of outreach and support services from which it was built. Visit Rape Crisis Center for more information.

About Texas Association Against Sexual Assault

The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) is the statewide organization committed to ending sexual violence in Texas. A non-profit educational and advocacy organization based in Austin, TAASA member agencies comprise a statewide network of over 80 crisis centers that serve rural as well as metropolitan areas. Founded in 1982, the agency has a strong record of success in community education, youth outreach, law enforcement training, legislative advocacy, and curricula and materials development. Additional information can be found at TAASA.

About RAINN

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) in partnership with 1,102 local rape crisis centers across the country. The hotline has helped more than one million people since its start in 1994. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. For more information about RAINN, please visit RAINN.

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE


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