Planning underway for 2nd annual Race to Zero 5K!

BISMARCK— Planning for the second annual Race to Zero: Run/Walk for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention is underway and registration is now open. The 5K event is intended to raise public awareness about sexual violence throughout the lifespan as well as military sexual trauma. This year, Race to Zero will take place on Saturday, April 12, at the Hay Creek Trail Loop with registration and displays in Shiloh Christian School.

April is both Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. In 2012 alone, more than 900 victims of sexual assault sought help from crisis intervention centers throughout the North Dakota (2013 statistics are still pending). Nearly 40 percent of victims were under the age of 18 at the time of the assault. The Pentagon reported that in 2012, more than 26,000 military service members experienced unwanted sexual contact. Nationally, more than half of sexual assaults go unreported. The intent of the race is to encourage community conversation about sexual assault awareness and prevention. Support for survivors from the larger community can translate into better response for victims of sexual assault and ultimately, change social norms like silence and victim blaming.

Pre-registration is $20 and participants receive a Race to Zero t-shirt the day of the event. Registration the day of the race is $25. Check-in and day-of registration begins at 8 a.m. in the Shiloh Christian School Elementary foyer, and the race begins at 9 a.m. Racers can register for either competitive or non-competitive categories. A small awards ceremony and light refreshments will be held after the race. Educational and outreach displays and activities will be located in the chapel of Shiloh Christian School (just inside the elementary entrance).

To help spread the word about the race, please visit or register directly on Eventbrite at For more information about registration, please contact Stephanie Gerhardt at 701-225-6240 or For more information about the race, contact primary organizer Heather Mattson at 701-333-3293 or

Race to Zero: Run/Walk for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention is a collaborative project between the Abused Adult Resource Center, Bismarck Prevention Task Force, CAWS North Dakota, the North Dakota National Guard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (SARP), Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota (PCAND), and Region 7 Foster Care/Adoption Recruitment Coalition. Along with advocacy centers around the state, these agencies work toward a shared goal of zero sexual assaults in North Dakota.

Land Board Approves Funding for Human Trafficking Training and Domestic Violence Assistance

BISMARCK – The State Board of University and School Lands met in late January to approve grant recommendations for the remaining oil impact grant dollars. The 2012 North Dakota Uniform Crime Report (UCR) showed a 7.9% increase in crime rates from 2011-12, largely due to increased populations in western parts of the state. The majority of the funding was allocated to law enforcement and sheriff’s offices in oil impacted counties, with some remaining monies allocated to programs that assist victims of sexual and domestic violence.

Funding in the amount of $30,000 was allocated to CAWS North Dakota for human trafficking training in oil country. A collaborative effort between the Office of the Attorney General, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and CAWS North Dakota, the training will provide professionals in law enforcement, prosecution, and advocacy with new skills and build their capacity to respond to victims of human trafficking over the next year.

“Training service providers on intervention and response to human trafficking is a priority for our agency,” said Janelle Moos, Executive Director of CAWS North Dakota. “This issue is a growing concern in our state and training is the first step toward ensuring victims are identified and offered safety and resources.”

The 2012 UCR also indicated that sexual assault has increased in the state by 17 percent, creating more need for funding in programs that assist victims. Three advocacy centers received funding for security systems that will help keep their clients and employees safe. These programs include: Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Minot, Domestic Violence & Rape Crisis Center in Dickinson, and Family Crisis Shelter in Williston. The centers in Minot, Dickinson, and the Domestic Violence Program, NW ND in Stanley also received funding for more advocate positions. The Abused Adult Resource Center in Bismarck received funding for client aid.

Additionally, $143,000 was allocated for emergency assistance for victims of domestic violence. The oil boom has not only increased rates of crime, but it also has created a lack of affordable housing, and places for victims to stay. Funding will allow programs to help victims and children find safety. Costs may include transportation to get to a safe location, housing assistance, and other costs that may arise when victims are fleeing violence.

Updates on human trafficking training opportunities for oil impacted counties will be announced at

ABOUT CAWS North Dakota: CAWS North Dakota is a nonprofit membership organization representing the 20 domestic violence and sexual assault crisis centers throughout the state. It is our mission to provide leadership and support in the identification, intervention, and prevention of sexual and domestic violence. CAWS North Dakota is a member of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. For more information, go to