Twin Ports March to Stop Violence

Posted at: 04/25/2013 9:32 PM | Updated at: 04/25/2013 10:19 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
manderson@wdio.com

With just days left of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, hundreds of Northlanders helped spread the word by marching the streets of Duluth and Superior.

In Superior, about 70 community members, city officials, and members of local organizations walked from UW-Superior to the Douglas County Courthouse in the 4th Annual Speak Out Superior march.

Mayor Bruce Hagen of Superior spoke, as well as survivors of sexual violence, such as Mel Alvar, a student at UMD.

"I'm here to tell others that you can find a day where you say to yourself 'welcome to happy' and that's what I've been able," said Alvar.

Although April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, marchers said they marched against all violence.

"It happens to guys as well as women," said John Massey of Duluth. "I just got out of a 11-year abusive relationship."

In Duluth, hundreds rallied on the corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street for the nationwide event Take Back the Night.

"It's really an empowering event because we can have women and men alike come and take the power back," said organizer, Meghan Gantz.

The march wraps up a month events aimed to raise awareness of sexual assault. Following the march a concert at Pizza Luca focused on educating about consent and healthy relationships.

Hibbing also held a candlelight vigil at the courthouse. 211 tea lights were on display to honor last year's survivors of sexual assault who were provided services.

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