‘Shine a Light on Sexual Assault’ event shares hope

CEDAR CITY–150 teal ribbon flags representing local rape and sexual assault survivors lined a Path of Hope at Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center’s first annual Shine a Light on Sexual Assault event April 26 in Cedar City Main Street Park.

Community members and survivors were invited to share messages of hope and inspiration for local survivors of rape and sexual assault at this event designed to bring awareness on this issue locally. Community members were asked to fill out an anonymous message on the CCWCC website prior to the event or to visit Main Street Park and write their messages on paper bags at one pavilion. Event participants would then take their message bags down the Path of Hope to the second pavilion to place their messages with others. Local survivors were also invited to come and share their story of hope and encouragement and to read messages from community members.

“This event was so important to create a space for the community to give back and share support for survivors. The messages let survivors know there are those who see them, believe them and support them,” said CCWCC Victim Services Director Kaitlin Sorensen.

“I am so grateful for the team I work with, and the opportunity to change lives every day with what we do in this organization. Thank you to everyone who came out to share their words of encouragement and support for victims of sexual assault. For such a serious topic, it really was an uplifting experience,” said CCWCC shelter director Niki Venis.

The 150 flags gave a visual reminder that sexual assault happens in our area and many of the participating community members were in awe of the number of survivors Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center worked with in 2017. “If we are able to make even one person aware of the scope of this issue in our area, this event was a success,” Sorensen said.

Messages shared at the event will continue to be shared and given to current survivors working with CCWCC. Messages like: “You are a warrior, not a victim,” “You are worth more than you know,” “You are always worthy of unconditional love, respect, safety and peace!”

Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center provides advocacy services and emergency shelter services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Iron, Beaver and Garfield counties. Services include emergency housing, food and clothing, crisis intervention, information and referral, legal and medical advocacy, support groups, and assistance in creating safety plans and service plans to achieve independence and self-reliance. Crisis help is available via the 24-hour crisis line at 435-233-5732.

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