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Annual Take Back the Night Rally Date Set April 17, 2008

Media Contact:
Anne Ealick Henry
Executive Director, Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services
aealickhenry@uh.org
(706) 774-2740

12TH ANNUAL TAKE BACK THE NIGHT RALLY APRIL 24

April 16, 2008 -- AUGUSTA, GA. – In order to celebrate the triumphs of survivors of sexual assault and to increase the community’s awareness of sexual victimization, Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services at University Hospital and Augusta State University will present the 12th annual Take Back the Night Rally on Thursday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m. on the lawn adjacent to the Maxwell Performing Arts Center at Augusta State University, 2500 Walton Way.

Take Back the Night was created to help survivors know that they are not alone, to speak out against sexual violence, and raise community awareness against future violence. The rally also offers an opportunity for the community to state it will not tolerate these crimes or let them go silently into the night.

Sexual assault is an act of violence that is intended to control or humiliate. As the most underreported of all crimes, it is more widespread than most people recognize. One out of three women and one out of five men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. Rape and sexual abuse are often labeled “crimes of silence” because of low reporting rates and social discomfort with their public discussion.

Survivors of violence, supporters of survivors, and any community advocates wishing to eliminate violence from our communities are invited to attend. The rally will begin at 6:30 p.m., with exhibits, activities, and informational displays on sexual assault. Survivors of sexual assault will provide testimonies and community leaders will speak beginning at 7:30 p.m. Guest speakers are to include: Dr. William A. Bloodworth, President of Augusta State University; Dr. Christie Launius, Director of the Women’s Studies Program of Augusta State University; Ashley Wright, Chief Assistant District Attorney; Lt. Scott Peebles, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office ; and Anne Ealick Henry, Director of Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services.

The evening will conclude with a campus-wide candlelight march to “Take Back the Night.”

Special exhibits on display will include The Clothesline Project and Jeans for Justice.

The Clothesline Project captures the numerous untold stories of children, women, and men who have been the victims of violence and abuse. This visual display of T-shirts includes messages and illustrations designed by survivors of violence or friends and families of victims, with each representing a survivor of sexual violence in the Augusta area. To walk through this display of T-shirts is to walk through the private moments of another's suffering and healing: a shirt depicting a woman beaten by her husband, or a child's T-shirt that asks the simple question "Why?" The T-shirts will be displayed beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, April 21, along the History Walk and the front entrance of the Augusta State University campus.

Jeans for Justice is a display used to examine beliefs and ideas around how judicial systems and society address the causes of sexual assault.

Additionally, on Tuesday, April 24, at 7 p.m., there will be a film screening of Date Rape: A Violation of Trust in the Jaguar Student Activities Center (JSAC) Coffeehouse on the campus of Augusta State University. A panel discussion will follow with Dr. Christie Launius, campus coordinator of the event and director of the Women’s Studies Program of ASU; Anne Ealick Henry, Director of Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services. Shannon Nix, a counselor in ASU’s Counseling Center, will facilitate the discussion.

For more information on Take Back the Night, please contact Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services at (706) 774-2740 or Dr. Christie Launius at Augusta State University at (706) 737-1500.

About Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services: Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services, under the auspices of University Hospital, is a United Way supported agency that provides help for survivors of sexual assault regardless of how long ago it happened or whether it was reported. Services include:

  • 24-hour crisis line with staff or trained volunteers available seven days a week
  • Advocacy and crisis intervention for the survivor at the hospital, police department or court
  • Short-term counseling
  • Support groups
  • Children’s prevention programs
  • Community education programs
  • Promotion of survivor’s right to know and choose possible courses of action
  • Information and referral to community resources

Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services offers volunteer training six times per year for people interested in being counselors for victims of rape or sexual assault. Participants will learn about the legal and emotional aspects of this crime. Call (706) 774-2740 for more information. The 24-hour crisis line is (706) 724-5200.

About Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), April brings an annual opportunity to focus awareness on sexual violence and its prevention. It is also an opportunity to highlight the efforts of individuals and agencies that provide rape crisis intervention and prevention services while offering support to sexual assault survivors, victims and their families. SAAM raises awareness of sexual violence and its prevention through special events while highlighting sexual violence as a major public health issue and reinforces the need for prevention efforts.

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