'Break the Silence' Day Proclaimed in Twin Ports

Taylor Holt
August 09, 2017 09:16 PM

A small group of sexual assault advocates and survivors stood on the shores overlooking Lake Superior with one big message.

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"We're hoping that by allowing survivors voices to be heard, we can let them know that we believe them and we stand with them," said Jenna Monnier, an advocate as CASDA and survivor.

The Break the Silence movement started two years ago in Minneapolis to get people speaking out about sexual assault. The movement is gaining more traction in the Twin Ports, and Wednesday, both Duluth and Superior Mayors joined in on the effort declaring August 16th as 'Break the Silence' day.

"Whereas survivors of sexual violence deserve a community that believes them, supports them, and stands with them in solidarity," said Superior Mayor Jim Paine, reading the proclamation in part.

"And whereas sexual violence is a pervasive human rights abuse," added Mayor Emily Larson.

"This is the first proclamation outside of the state of Minnesota that bridge two states together," said Monnier.

As a survivor herself and advocate, Monnier says that partnership is a necessary step in the fight.

"When we start coming together standing in solidarity it's less scary to go out into that world of healing," Monnier added. "Survivors need support. It's not an easy thing to do to come out as a survivor."

The hope is that these steps can be an inspiration for future generations.

"It's really important that my daughter is here with me today because I want to leave her with a world that's better than the one were in now," Monnier added.

At the end of the ceremony, the group stood in a circle with each person stating whether they are a survivor, ally, or advocate. 

This was part of a statewide proclamation that was announced by Governor Dayton a few weeks ago.


Taylor Holt

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