A walk to end the silence of sexual violence is planned as part of the June 6 First Friday festivities in Michigan City.
Organized by the Stepping Stone Shelter for Women, “Step Into The Night” will step off from HealthLinc, 710 Franklin St., continue northwards and circle the Michigan City Public Library before coming back to HealthLinc. It is the first of what Stepping Stone executive director Kay Hill says will be a yearly walk to help educate the public on sexual assault.
“We want to get the word out, educate people on sexual assault and let people know we are here,” said Hill, a five-year member of the organization that provides assistance to abuse victims and their children through an emergency shelter and transitional living quarters.
“Although there has been an increase in reported sexual assaults, we still don’t know how many go unreported,” she said. “Men and women are victims of sexual assault and we want to let them know we are here free of charge.”
Participants are encouraged to wear purple for the walk that is set to begin at 7:30 p.m., which should be at dusk.
“We have it at dusk because most sexual assaults occur from dusk to dawn, what a person is wearing is not a factor for sexual assault victims,” Hill said.
When the walk concludes at HealthLinc, Hill said a “Shout Out” session will take place where survivors of assault will speak if they choose to. Representatives from the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office and the entire staff of Stepping Stone plan to be in attendance.