Violence against women and children is happening here
Thursday, November 09, 2017
Contributors: Lyn Beyer, NCC, LPC, Executive Director at Reach Counseling and Amy Flanders, MBA, Executive Director at Sexual Assault Crisis Center - Fox Cities, Inc.
This week Brenda Tracey is traveling throughout the Fox Valley telling her story of being raped in 1998 by four men, two of whom were players for the Oregon State football team. Why is her story important? Because, while her rape lasted for six hours, the shame she felt after the trauma lasted for 16 years. For the past three years, she has traveled the country sharing her horrific experience. Brenda speaks for victims who have been shamed into silence by the systems that make up our schools, government, corporate America and even within our communities.
Our two agencies, Reach Counseling and Sexual Assault Crisis Center – Fox Cities, Inc. (both United Way Fox Cities partners), have provided sexual assault crisis services to the greater Fox Valley community for 80 years combined. Over 90% of victims know their perpetrator. Shame and victim blaming are part of why they remain silent. In 2016, over 800 victims received crisis and counseling services from our two agencies. The need is real right here and we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Just like the #MeToo Campaign that encourages victims to come forward and tell their stories of rape and assault, we are challenging the Fox Valley to:
- Listen to women’s stories- We deserve validation
- Support our healing process – No one can heal alone
- Take action against the status quo – And that calls for your courage
Violence against women and children is happening here, and we need to change this from a women’s issue to a men’s issue. For this to happen, we ask you to be brave and take a stand with us that may be uncomfortable. Challenge the ways women are objectified in the media. Teach your boys to respect girls and women. Contact our two organizations with questions or concerns. We are here to help!