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SUPPORT WITHIN REACH: Sexual Violence Awareness Month is just around the corner

Sexual violence can look very different from person to person, but the destruction that is caused by it runs deep and impacts the lives of everyone around it.

Emily Daube Support Within Reach.jpg
Emily Daube is a Beltrami, Clearwater and Hubbard County supervisor at Support Within Reach.

Sexual violence, as many of you know personally, is an epidemic that runs rampant in our community.

Sexual violence can look very different from person to person, but whether it is exploitation, trafficking, sexual assault, rape or whether it is sexual violence by a stranger or by a loved one, the destruction that is caused by it runs deep and impacts the lives of everyone around it.

We want to remember the primary victims (someone directly involved in the assault) and secondary victims (someone associated with the primary victim, who has been affected by the assault) and be a support and guidance through the healing process.

April is Sexual Violence Awareness Month and for it, Support Within Reach wants to invite you to our Take Back the Night events over the week of April 10-13. These events are open to the community and are a way that we can acknowledge those who are victims and survivors of sexual assault, violence, trafficking and exploitation.

Take Back the Night events are held annually around the world throughout communities and college campuses alike. The Take Back the Night event will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, at the American Indian Recreational Center on Bemidji State University’s campus.

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There will be booths hosted by community partners, a drum circle, extraordinary speakers and a candlelight vigil where sexual violence survivors are welcome to share their stories.

In addition to this event, Bemidji State University and Support Within Reach will be hosting a week of events leading up to Thursday.

Support Within Reach advocates will be speaking on Sex Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, there will be a presentation on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and more. Please find us on Facebook and Instagram @SupportWithinReach for more event details.

If you find that before or after the event you have any questions or if anything has triggered personal emotions from past events in your life, please feel free to reach out to one of our advocates at Support Within Reach.

We understand that sexual violence can be a very heavy topic, but we encourage you to attend and stay at the events for as long as you are able. Although these are hard topics to discuss, it is imperative for our community to be a part of these conversations to enable growth and healing.

To find more information on the Take Back the Night Foundation specifically, visit takebackthenight.org.

If you are an organization or business in the area that would like to support the event or host a booth, please email contact@supportwithinreach.org.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, advocates are here and ready to help you. Reach out to Support Within Reach at our 24/7 crisis hotlines: (800) 708-2727 in Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard and Cass, or (866) 747-5008 in Itasca and Aitkin Counties.

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For more information about Support Within Reach, visit supportwithinreach.org.

Emily Daube is a Beltrami, Clearwater, and Hubbard County supervisor at Support Within Reach.

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