Take Back The Night Is About “The Role Of Advocacy”

Posted On March 13, 2018

Press release from Community Mental Health Center, Inc.

File photo

(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – DIRECTIONS! Support & Advocacy Services, a program of Community Mental Health Center, Inc., will again host their annual Take Back the Night event.

This year’s event, featuring the topic “The Role of Advocacy,” focuses on prosecution of perpetrators of sexual crimes and the importance of advocacy for survivors. The program begins at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, at the Dearborn Adult Center, 311 Tate Street, Lawrenceburg.

The Directions! event is held during national Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time to promote awareness of sexual assault and related crimes and the impact of these crimes on society. According to a recent National Crime Victim Research study, one in six women and men in Indiana are victims of rape. In a report released in January 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released statistics showing the number of rapes in the U.S. has increased by 9.6 percent. Eighty percent of sex crimes are perpetrated by assailants known to the victim.

Take Back the Night is a national campaign to bring greater awareness to the violent crimes of rape and sexual assault. 2018 marks the twelfth consecutive year Directions! has hosted their event. Join with family, friends, co-workers and community leaders to reclaim the night from sexual predators. This event is free and open to the public.

The evening features inspirational messages from survivors and information on key strategies to use when confronted by sexual predators. Participants also learn how to help raise awareness in their communities about rape and sexual assault and how to make a difference in the lives of survivors. Dinner is provided, and door prizes will be awarded.

Featured speaker for the night is Lynn Deddens, Prosecuting Attorney for Dearborn and Ohio Counties. Ms. Deddens will speak on trial procedures and how advocacy assists victims, as well as prosecution.

Specially featured for the evening are Sally Lushion, Survivor and Activist; Dana Patton, Survivor and Author, and Margi Redd, Survivor, who will speak on responding to someone who discloses they were assaulted, how friends and family helped and supported them, and advocacy as a lifeline for survivors and communities.

The Clothesline Project will again be on display. Originating in Massachusetts in 1990, The Clothesline Project now encompasses more than 500 communities and several foreign countries. It has become a worldwide campaign bringing awareness to violence against women.  Shirts featured in the display are created by survivors and family members and friends of survivors in our communities. The Clothesline Project offers a visual tribute to the courage of all survivors.

Rape and sexual assault are grossly underreported crimes in the United States. Only about 40 percent of rapes are reported to law enforcement. Sexual violence and domestic violence are “crimes of silence” and as such leave victims to suffer alone in the shadows. According to the World Health Organization, victims of sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression and are four times more likely to contemplate suicide.

This evening will help you to understand the emotional trauma experienced by victims of sexual violence and what you can do to support them through the healing process. This session is a must for teens, parents and concerned citizens.

The Directions! Program began as Rape Crisis Services in 1977. The program has provided support and advocacy for rape and sexual assault survivors since then. The program’s school-based presentations for child abuse prevention, middle school life skills development, and dating violence and sexual assault awareness began soon after. DIRECTIONS! has received numerous state and federal awards and is recognized for the quality of advocacy services provided for survivors, community outreach and school prevention, awareness and educational programs.

If you or someone you know is a victim of rape or sexual assault, please do not hesitate to seek help. To access Directions! 24-hour confidential crisis services, please call 812-537-1302 or, toll-free, 877-849-1248.

For more information on sexual violence and the Directions! Support & Advocacy Services, contact Catherine Dwyer at (812) 532-3470, or e-mail Ms. Dwyer at Cathy.Dwyer@cmhcinc.org. Information also is posted on the SAS website at www.rapecrisissas.org. The SAS website features information on a variety of resources, including the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), which has a hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) that directs calls made from the local area to the Directions! program.

All CMHC services are provided without regard to race, religion, disability, gender, color, age, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political belief, status as a veteran, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.