A message to our community

It has been several weeks since the news of the sexual abuse suit against Seattle Mayor Ed Murray became public. During this time, a heated political climate has fueled speculation about the background of the individual filing the charges, the law firm representing him, and the mayor.   

Several of our respected sister agencies and coalitions have issued eloquent statements acknowledging the complexity of this issue (GSBA, API Chaya, NW Network).   

All of us who assist victims and their families are grappling with several truths that appear to be contradictory but do not cancel each other out.   

With 40 years of experience responding to thousands of victims, combined with data and research from across the country:  

We know that it continues to be difficult for victims of sexual assault to speak out about their experiences. Barriers to speaking out are amplified in cases where drugs or alcohol are involved, if the victim has a criminal history, or if the offender is a high-profile individual.   

We know that men who have been victimized—either as children or adults—are far less likely to report or seek assistance for fear of being stigmatized, ostracized, or not believed.   

We know that individuals who are homeless, and those who have mental health or addiction problems, are more vulnerable to sexual assault.  

We know that offenders target vulnerable people, in part because they anticipate that their victim’s stories will be discounted.   

We also know that rape is the most under-reported crime and that 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police (NSVRC 2015). Even if an assault is reported to law enforcement, only 3% of offenders are incarcerated (RAINN 2015).  

We know that even if no law enforcement report was made, that no charges were filed, or that no conviction occurred, that does not mean that a sexual assault did not occur. This is a reality victims face every day.                                                                        

• We know that for decades, the LGBTQ community has been falsely characterized as predatory and that these harmful, incorrect stereotypes are used today in the arguments supporting so-called “bathroom bills.” These misconceptions about LGBTQ people do not make us safer. They protect real offenders and dismiss the reality that LGBTQ people are actually at a higher risk for assault (NSVRC 2015).  

As our community weathers what will continue to be turbulent weeks and months ahead, our commitment to victims and their families has not changed.  

If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual assault, we are here. Twenty-four hours a day. And if we cannot provide the specific help or support that you seek, we will connect you to someone who can.   

Call us: 888.99.VOICE.  

KCSARC exists to give voice to victims, their families and the community instill courage for people to speak out about sexual assault, and create change in beliefs, attitudes and behaviors about violence. We will continue to do so for as long as sexual assault exists.  


Mary Ellen Stone  
Executive Director


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