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Take Back the Day Walk to Prevent Sexual Violence April 7, 2011

Media Contact:
Anne Ealick Henry,
Program Director
Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Service, University Hospital
aealickhenry@uh.org
(706) 724-5200

TAKE BACK THE DAY WALK TO PREVENT SEXUAL VIOLENCE

AUGUSTA (APRIL 5, 2011) – Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services at University Hospital, Augusta State University, and Paine College will hold the second annual TAKE BACK THE DAY, WALK TO PREVENT SEXUAL VIOLENCE on Saturday, April 16, 2011. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Amphitheatre at Augusta State University, 2500 Walton Way. The three-mile walk begins at 9 a.m. from the Augusta State University Amphitheatre, continue through the campuses of Paine College and the Georgia Health Sciences University and end in front of University Hospital, 1350 Walton Way. Students, parents, survivors of violence, supporters of survivors and any community advocates wishing to eliminate sexual violence from our communities are invited to participate. The Walk will benefit the counseling program of Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services. Registration Fees: Students $5, Individuals $10 and Families are $15.

Designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), April is an annual opportunity to focus awareness on sexual violence and its prevention. Primary prevention allows us the opportunity to focus on stopping the problem of sexual violence before it happens in the first place. SAAM 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. The walk offers an opportunity for the community to state it will not tolerate these crimes.

Sexual violence is a crime motivated by control, not sexual desire. Sexual violence is a breach of trust and safety that occurs anytime a person is forced, coerced and/or manipulated into unwanted sexual activity. This can include rape, incest, child sexual abuse, acquaintance rape, statutory rape, marital or partner rape, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, exposure and voyeurism. As the most underreported of all crimes, it is more widespread than most people recognize. One out of six American women and one out of 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed sexual assault in their lifetimes. Forty-four percent of victims are younger than eighteen. Rape and sexual abuse are often labeled “crimes of silence” because of low reporting rates and social discomfort with their public discussion.

To continue to raise awareness of sexual assault during the month of April additional events will be held at Augusta State University and Paine College. This will include the 15th Annual Take Back the Night Rally on April 21, 2011. Community Information and Special Activities are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. with the rally beginning at 7:30 p.m., with testimonials and guest speakers. The evening will conclude with a campus candlelight march to “Take Back the Night.” The full schedule of the events surrounding Take Back the Night include special exhibits of The Clothesline Project, Jeans for Justice, and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, all on display the entire week of April 18-22, 2011.

About Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services
Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services, under the auspices of University Hospital, is a United Way of the CSRA, Georgia Department of Human Services, Department of Community Health and Criminal Justice Coordinating Council supported program 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
  • Therapy and Support groups
  • Children’s prevention programs
  • Sexual Assault prevention programs for all ages
  • Community Education
  • Training for Professionals
  • Promotion of Survivor’s Rights

Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services offers volunteer advocate training six times per year for people interested in being advocates for victims of rape or sexual assault. Participants will learn about the legal and emotional aspects of this crime. Call (706) 774-2746 for more information. The 24-hour crisis line is (706) 724-5200 or 1-800-656-4673.

For more information on Sexual Assault Awareness Month, please contact Anne Ealick Henry at Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services, University Hospital (706) 724-5200 or Shannon Nix at Augusta State University at (706) 737-1471.

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1350 Walton Way, Augusta, Georgia
(706) 722-9011