On Tuesday, Safe Passage, DeKalb County’s domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and intervention agency, will host Take Back the Night and a Survivor Speak-Out.
These events will focus on raising awareness of the issue of sexual assault in the community, and will allow survivors and other community members to share their stories and stand together, publicly declaring that sexual abuse and assault are unacceptable crimes with no place in our community.
This event also will introduce Safe Passage’s new executive director, Mary Ellen Schaid. Schaid brings more than 15 years of nonprofit leadership to her new position. Most recently, she served for nearly 10 years as president/CEO of the Gillis Center, the oldest child and family service agency in Kansas City.
The evening’s events will begin shortly before 7 p.m. with a brief rally at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 615 N. First St., DeKalb. Those assembled will then “Take Back the Night,” marching south on First Street to the downtown area, then back to the starting point.
After the march, a Survivor Speak-Out will take place in in the church’s basement. This event will include brief comments from Safe Passage staff, as well as an opportunity for survivors and community members to share their experiences. The Speak-Out also will feature Safe Passage’s Clothesline Project, an interactive, collaborative art project with T-shirts decorated by survivors of violence.
Safe Passage has been serving DeKalb County since 1981 by providing services to people affected by domestic and sexual violence, as well as engaging in proactive violence prevention efforts. For more information, call the hotline at 815-756-5228.