Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling hosts vigil for sexual assault survivors
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Sharing stories and giving a voice to those too afraid to come forward. A Stateline non-profit hosts an annual event for the 4th time, spreading awareness in the fight against sexual assault.
According to Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling, every 98 seconds someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted, but RSAC says help is only one call away.
Survivors of sexual assault gather at the Dispelling the Darkness event, encouraging everyone from all backgrounds and ages to come forward and speak their truth.
“At school, we learned about your personal bubble and that nobody should be touching you inappropriately and I was like, ‘wow that happened to me’,” said Bella Mendeloff, a middle school student and speaker at the event. “I think it’s kind of important for this event to happen, so that people can feel comfortable. That might give them the confidence to tell one person.”
Candles were available for purchase at the vigil, which were lit to honor survivors of sexual assault and to spread awareness about the dangers and traumas that sexual assault carries.
““Something that is universal is that they have come a long way to do the work necessary to be able to persevere what they’ve experienced or ‘oh my goodness, getting to hear that person’s story that’s my story, I lived that too’,” said Marilyn Ramirez, a therapist with RSAC.
All proceeds from candles purchased directly fund RSACs services, which come at no cost to survivors and their families.
“I 100% recommend speaking out, it is hard, but it is 100% worth it,” said Kaylei Garner, a sexual assault survivor and speaker at the Dispelling the Darkness event. “RSAC has been so great in helping me and I just hope that some more people and survivors will feel comfortable to tell their stories.”
The event was also streamed virtually through the RSAC Facebook page.
Donations are still being accepted for the event and can be found here.
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