Candle light vigil for Sexual Assault Awareness month

by Mescalero Apache Tribe | April 28, 2021 9:27 am

The Violence Against Women program hosted a candle light vigil on Thursday April 15, 2021 for Sexual Assault Awareness month.

Information was distributed throughout the community at different tribal departments about the upcoming event with a guest speaker.

The community participants would start the walk at Violence Against Women program building located at 145 Warbonnet drive then proceed to the Chiricahua plaza where sandwiches and fruit would be provided with gift bags.

The guest speaker Pax Harvey gave a speech about sexual assault with some comedy relief for our participants. 

Sexual Assault is a subject that is avoided most of the time.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and VAW program sponsored the candle light vigil to open the subject to the public by providing information about sexual assault, whether you are a survivor or what you can do to prevent it from happening to you or others.

Sexual Assault is described as an act of a person sexually touching you without consent or forcing you to engage in a sexual act against your will. Sexual assault is a violent crime especially when one is over powered by the other person.

It has been known to happen between family members, married couples, intimate partners, and in some cases by a stranger.

Parents, if your child discloses a sexual assault let them know they are safe and that you believe them.

Prevention strategy by using safety techniques and the bystander intervention approach offers clear benefits.

The safety technique provides safety in numbers by traveling in groups by going out together and leaving together.

When going out always have a plan B when drinking never leave your drink unattended or out of your sight. Always ask for others help to remove a victim from a potentially dangerous situation.

The bystander approach discourages victim blaming questions such as “how could you have let this happen to you” or “why didn’t you say anything”.

With bystanders as active participants, the sense of responsibility shifts away from the victim and towards family, friends, and the community as a whole.

The question becomes “how could we let this happen in OUR community? Or How can we learn to say something when we see something? 

This offers a chance to change social norms by saying friends don’t let friends hurt others. 

Sexual assault is every one’s responsibility

We all need to work together to put an end to sexual violence. 

At the Sexual Assault Awareness and Candle Light Vigil, walkers were provided music conducted by Chris Frizzell a DJ from the Inn of the Mountain Gods. 

Snacks were provided to the walkers while the music played before the guest speaker Pax Harvey began his presentation. 

The participants enjoyed the walking event to the plaza and the information gained from guest speaker Pax Harvey, who gave a really good presentation on the subject of sexual assault. 

When the event ended we all thanked our guest speaker and participants.

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