By Christopher T. Matthews
April was sexual assault awareness month and on Saturday April 30, 2016 over four dozen men, women and children gathered at Ottawa Park to walk, in support of those, who have been victimized and survived sexual assault to bring more awareness.
“The 2k walk is symbolic to every two minutes a sexual assault is taking place, and I don’t think many people realize that sexual assault is taking place at such an alarming rate,” explained Doreann Alexander, CEO and founder of Sexual Assault Awareness Walk (R.A.P.E) Foundation.
“We gather every year to support the survivors who have been victimized by sexual assault. I really don’t like to use the term victim; if you survived you are a survivor. So many people are sexually assaulted daily, someone is being sexually assaulted every 1:47 seconds and it’s not just females,” said Ms. Alexander.
“I am a survivor of childhood and teenage sexual assault, and that’s why I am here. I represent a Company called Steps to Healing and Wholeness which we provide counseling for victims and survivors for free. We hold our group session for nine months,” she explained.
Ms. Alexander continued to express how the purpose of this walk is to raise funds, but more importantly, to raise awareness and better educate those within and outside of the community, because so many people don’t talk about it. It’s something that is never discussed; it’s a taboo topic for many in the African American community. So, for the most part, the spoken and unspoken rule is what goes on in our home stays in our home.
“I am asking the community to get involved. I think alot of people don’t think that it affects them, but it affects somebody, in every family. Many times I think people are under the assumption that if I does not affect them personally, per say, it does not affect anything or anyone around them,” Ms Alexander stated.
According to Ms. Alexander, the counseling sessions serve as a conduit to deal with sexual assault emotionally, because many people, who don’t get counseling, go on and grow up with bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. So, alot of what they are experiencing is due to the fact that they didn’t get the proper treatment that is needed. Know that you are not alone, and it is so many of us out there like you and like me. But, the thing is to recognize and to get the healing, the proper healing, that is needed for you to go forth, and at the end of the day, God wants you to be healed and whole again,
Lakeshia Moore came out to support her sister, who is a survivor. She thinks that there are so many victims who have never told anybody about been raped or molested as a child or teen. “This walk is for the silent ones, who have spoken out, for everybody. We are here to support every and anybody who is a victim and a survivor,” she said.
Raymond Alexander came out to support his wife, Doreann, and believes that the awareness needs to go viral.
The walk will be every April, the fourth Saturday of the Month, same place, same time.
If interested in this movement contact Doreann Alexander:
Phone (419) 469-5954
Mail P.O Box 350812 Toledo OH 43614