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Community Leaders, Survivors Speaking Out to Raise Awareness of Sexual Assault

April 21, 2017 08:57 AM

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the Twin Ports community is coming together do just that - raise awareness.

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“It's almost a guarantee that everyone in the United States knows someone who has been sexually assaulted, so it's a huge issue and we really want people's voices to be heard," said Jenna Monnier, a triage advocate with CASDA.

Monnier, along with Tammy Fanning, Associate Dean of Students at UWS, stopped by GMN Friday to offer an invitation to sexual assault survivors and community members to several events aimed at raising awareness.

Monnier offered some staggering statistics of sexual assault:

  • Every 98 seconds in America, someone is sexually assaulted
  • 90 percent of victims are assaulted by someone they know
  • 10 percent of victims are male

UWS will host 'Speak Out Superior' on Wednesday, April 26, in the Yellowjacket Union. The event runs 5:30-9:00 p.m. The evening will begin with a showing of the film, "It's On Us," followed by active bystander intervention training.

“We are going to be teaching people some skills on how to intervene in different situations where they might be able to be helpful,” explained Fanning.

The training, Fanning added, will cover everything from over-hearing sexual jokes to sexual assault. Following the training, sexual assault survivors will have the chance to speak out and share their experiences.

“I think that's the most important part of Speak Out. We started this in 2010 and it has been going strong for the past seven years,” said Fanning. "It's extremely important to really hear from the victims of sexual assault and be a support, but also, in the process, try to help prevent these things from happening.”

'Speak Out Superior' is a community effort with many groups coming together, including, CASDA, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the Superior Police Department, WITC, and the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.

Survivors will have another chance to share their stories at an event called, 'Break the Silence.' Monnier says 'Break the Silence' was originally created in Minneapolis, and they formed the Twin Ports chapter last summer. 

“It's an invitation for sexual assault survivors to tell their stories in a trauma-informed, supportive environment,” Monnier said.

'Break the Silence' is Monday, May 1, at the Spirit Room in Superior from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

“We just want to get the message out there to sexual assault survivors that we stand with them, we believe them," said Monnier.


WDIO

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