ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center is co-hosting several events to inform residents about sexual assault in April as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Residents are invited to attend the following events:
April 5, National Sexual Assault Awareness Day
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kick-off starts at the Alachua County Health Department (224 SE 24th St., Gainesville). Information on risk reduction and how to help a survivor will be provided all day.
April 7, Take Back the Night
7 p.m. to 8:30 a.m.
University of Florida
A rally and march to end sexual assault. Participants will gather at 7 p.m. at the Plaza of Americas and march will start promptly at 7:30 p.m. The walk will end with an open mic outside at the Reitz Union at 8 p.m. Our key note speaker is Lauren Book (see Lauren’s Walk below to learn about Lauren Book). This event is free and open to the public. No registration or RSVP is needed to attend.
April 7 and 8, Lauren’s Walk
Lauren Book is walking across Florida to raise awareness about sexual violence. A survivor and outspoken advocate of survivors’ rights in Florida, she will be in Alachua County April 7 and 8. She will end her walk in Tallahassee to meet with lawmakers on April 26. The event is free and the public is welcome to attend the walk or meet her at points along the way. No registration or RSVP is needed to attend.
· April 7, 2:30 p.m. Begin Alachua County walk at TravelLodge/Marathon Gas Station (3461 SW Williston Road, Gainesville)
· April 7, 4 p.m. End walk at Alachua County Criminal Courthouse (220 South Main Street, Gainesville) – Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center staff will be welcoming her at this point
· April 8, 1 p.m. Book-signing at UF Bookstore
· April 8, 2:30 p.m. Begin walk at UF campus, corner of University Avenue and NW 13th Street
· April 8, 4 p.m. End Alachua County walk at the Child Advocacy Center (901 NW 8th Avenue, Gainesville)
April 11, Alachua County Annual Victims’ Rights Week Candle-Lighting Ceremony
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
United Church of Gainesville (1624 NW 5th Avenue, Gainesville)
Residents are invited to join area service providers and survivors of crime in this annual candle-lighting ceremony. Participants will have an opportunity to view an experiential art project called the Perspectives Project, reflect in the garden, paint tiles in honor of a survivor, light candles and speak during an open mic portion. This event is free and open to the public. No registration or RSVP is needed to attend.
Alachua County Victim Advocate Counselor and Community Education Project Coordinator, Laura Kalt said, "Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted." She said that these events will, "bring awareness to a crime that is all too often not talked about."
For more information, contact Laura Kalt at 352-393-7683.