Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

PSU & community groups plan rally against domestic violence

A coalition of Pittsburg State University and community groups will sponsor PSU's fourth annual Take Back Back the Night March and Rally at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 21, at Timmons Chapel. The sponsors are the Women's Studies Club, Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), Men Against Violence Program (MVP), and Students Against Violence Through Education (SAVE) at PSU, and the Crisis Resource Center of Southeast Kansas, Inc.

The purpose of the march and rally is to help raise awareness about gender violence. This year's event has been designed to bring together university and community organizations to protest violence against women and to promote awareness of this epidemic in our society.

The evening will begin at Timmons Chapel. Just before it gets dark, participants will gather in front of the chapel to begin their march around campus. The march is intended to help women feel empowered and feel safe in their own streets at night. National crime statistics indicate that three out of five sexual assaults occur at night, with the largest proportion occurring between 6 p.m. and midnight. The marchers will meet back at Timmons Chapel for guest speakers, music, a candlelight vigil, and a speak-out.

This year's featured guest speakers will be Gene & Peggy Schmidt, of the Stephanie Schmidt Foundation. The Schmidt's 19-year-old daughter, PSU student Stephanie Schmidt, was murdered in 1993. The Schmidts often speak at functions across the United States. Their presentations help to educate junior high, high school, and college students and help raise awareness about violent crimes and violent crime prevention. They have successfully written and changed six laws in Kansas.

Cherokee County Sheriff, Steve Norman, will also speak about the S.P.I.D.E.R. (Sexual Predator Identification & Response) Program and the PSU SART, SAVE, and MVP programs will perform an educational skit.

Featured musician, Amanda Rainey, will perform during the candlelight vigil at the University Lake to honor the victims and survivors of violence, particularly sexual assault. Afterwards, there will be a survivor speak-out where survivors, friends of survivors, and others are encouraged to speak if they desire.

For more information, please contact:
Jen McFall and Goldie Prelogar, event coordinators, psuwomen@yahoo.com or 620-704-2451
Meekin Norman, CRC Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, meekinn@gmail.com or 620-231-8692
Heidi Himebrook, SART/SAVE, hhimebrook@hotmail.com 816-590-3432
Brenton Garrett MVP senor_moustache@mailcity.com or 620-249-9067

The PSU Women's Studies Club is a university and community organization that help examine the diversity of women’s lives, experiences, and voices in our multicultural and globalized world through activism.

CRC is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the adult and child victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking in the ten county area of Southeast Kansas. Their services include but are not limited to: crisis intervention services, advocacy services, child exchange and visitation center, emergency transportation services for mothers and their families, referral services for medical treatment, and legal services.

SART is a group of students trained to respond appropriately and compassionately to calls from sexual assault victims and survivors and/or individuals interested in discussing the issues gender-based violence. In their response, both emotional support and information about possible options victims might have are provided.

SAVE is a group of female students dedicated to providing education and awareness to girls and women on gender-based violence, including sexual assault and rape, partner violence, stalking, and sexual harassment.

MVP is a group of male students dedicated to preventing violence by providing education and awareness to boys and men on the issues of gender-based violence. SAVE/MVP work together to present to college students, as well as high school and middle school students.

---Pitt State---