Take Back the Night April 12
Press release from Community Mental Health Center
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – DIRECTIONS! Support & Advocacy Services, a program of Community Mental Health Center, will again host their annual Take Back the Night event.
This year’s event, featuring the theme “Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Men, Let’s make the night safe again,” begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12, 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 seven women in Indiana is a victim of rape. Statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicate that nearly 2,000 cases of rape occur annually in Indiana. 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. 2012 marks the sixth 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 about how to make a difference in the lives of survivors. Refreshments will be available, and door prizes will be awarded. A silent auction of a variety of items will be held throughout the evening.
Special guest speaker for the evening is Leslie Lukes, Director of Victim Advocacy for the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault (INCASA). Ms. Lukes will kick off the evening with a presentation titled “Respect, Boundary Lines & Action.!”
The Clothesline Project will again be on display, as well. 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 were 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% of rapes are reported to law enforcement. Sexual violence as well as 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.
“‘Take Back the Night’ is an opportunity to show survivors they are not alone. As they see communities linking arms in a show of solidarity to end sexual violence, they feel supported rather than blamed. Survivors become encouraged and empowered to step from the shadows, report crimes and ultimately hold perpetrators accountable,” said Ms. Dwyer.
“Link arms with us on April 12as we take a stand against sexual violence, show survivors we support them, and put perpetrators on notice that these crimes will remain silent no more.”
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, Directions! Support & Advocacy Services, or to inquire about volunteer opportunities as a Directions! advocate, 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 or political belief.