By Mekialaya White

DENVER (CBS4) – April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and as it comes to an end, Denver police want to further their message to stop what they’re calling a “disturbing trend.”

“We wanted to start a campaign educating the public about what consent and sexual assault is,” DPD spokeswoman Christine Downs told CBS4’s Mekialaya White. It’s called “Start by Getting Consent,” designed to raise awareness around the topic.

Downs shared the statistics that are troubling to police.

“Every 73 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Every 9 minutes that is a child,” she said. “We’re trying to prevent that from ever occurring.”

DPD will be posting educational information about what consent entails on its social media platforms, including Facebook.

“People tend to think there’s a gray area when there’s not. That’s why we want people to understand that they need to get consent. It needs to be verbalized. Just because you had consent one time doesn’t mean that you always have it. And just because someone agreed to one thing doesn’t mean they agree to all things,” said Downs.

Open communication and dialogue is key, she adds.

“Sex assault has lasting impacts to victim survivors, and the goal of the police department is to help crimes from occurring. So we wanted to take a bold stand and say don’t commit this crime. Don’t partake in activities that are going to harm somebody else. We also want to empower people to say no, to say what they’re comfortable with.”

For more information, or to report a crime — you can do so anonymously — click here.

More information is provided below from Denver police:

(credit: DPD)

(credit: Denver Police)

(credit: Denver Police)

Mekialaya White