Speak Out against sexual and domestic violenceNorthwestern Wisconsin residents will rise up and speak out against sexual violence Thursday in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The fourth annual Speak Out Superior features a march from the University of Wisconsin-Superior to the Douglas County Courthouse, followed by music, food and speakers.
Northwestern Wisconsin residents will rise up and speak out against sexual violence Thursday in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The fourth annual Speak Out Superior features a march from the University of Wisconsin-Superior to the Douglas County Courthouse, followed by music, food and speakers. New at the courthouse this year is a separate, supervised room for children, where they can enjoy structured, age-appropriate activities that tie in with the Speak Out Superior message. The event is organized by the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse, Inc. (CASDA), and the UWS Gender Equity Resource Center.
Speak Out Superior participants will gather at 4:30 p.m. in UWS parking lot 2, between Burger King and Pilgrim Lutheran Church. The group will then march down Belknap Avenue to the Courthouse to rally and hear from speakers from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The event is open to Superior residents and anyone who wants to take a stand against sexual violence. Free parking is available in UWS lot 2. Speak Out Superior T-shirts will be available at the event and can also be purchased in advance from CASDA for $7 each or $9 for extra large sizes.
Presenters at Speak Out Superior will include Mayor Bruce Hagen, Sen. Bob Jauch, Superior Community Policing Officer Bonnie Beste and emcee Jane Larson, Human Development Center “Project Reach Out” coordinator. Superior Police Detective Michelle Lear will receive CASDA’s annual Community Helping Hand Award to recognize her tireless work helping victims of domestic and sexual violence in our community. Members of the public will also be invited to share their experiences and survivor stories.
Douglas County ranks fifth out of Wisconsin’s 72 counties in the number of reported sexual assaults per capita, according to 2010 data provided from the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance. More than 1,200 of Wisconsin sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement eight or more days following the incident. Many sexual assaults are never reported, making the number of incidents very difficult to track. Nearly 90% of Wisconsin sexual assaults reported in 2010 were committed by someone known to the victim.
CASDA provides supportive services to individuals hurt by domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, as it advocates for a community effort to end violence. For more information about Speak Out Superior and other Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities, please contact CASDA at (715) 392-3136, go to www.casda.org or visit their Facebook page.