The New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault was established in 1981 after evolving from a grass-roots effort at the local level.

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NJ CASA Facebook

The non-profit represents the 21 county rape crisis centers, plus Rutgers University.

"As a coalition, what we do is elevate the voice of service providers and sexual assault survivors across the state," said Patricia Teffenhart, Executive Director.

The issue of sexual assault awareness is a very critical one, as the FBI indicates that rape is second most violent crime after murder. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

"We estimate that one in five females and one in 71 males will have been a victim of sexual assault at some time in their life," Teffenhart said.

Another major issue is that the crime is often under-reported.

In an effort to eliminate sexual violence against all people, NJ CASA focuses their efforts in four critical areas:

  • Education
  • Outreach
  • Policy
  • Prevention

On Saturday May 3rd, they hold the 4th Annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month 5k Walk/Run at Veteran's Park in Hamilton.

"This particular event is very important. It is our biggest fundraiser of the year," Teffenhart said.

The event continues to grow in popularity with over 200 walkers turning out in 2013, and an even bigger turnout expected this year.

NJ CASA also offers a 24-hour statewide hotline for anybody needing immediate assistance.

"Overall, the goal of the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault is to promote compassionate and just treatment of survivors and their loved ones."

Learn more about this great Garden State organization and their upcoming event by visiting the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault website and Facebook page.