A survivor of domestic abuse – whose children were sexually abused by their father – gave an emotional and moving account of her family’s story at our annual Take Back the Night event last night at Schwiebert Park in downtown Rock Island.
Take Back the Night is held for survivors of sexual assault and other violent crimes. These are crimes that happen in every culture, every income level, and it is very difficult to recover on your own.
That’s why Family Resources is here – to connect victims with programs, services, and community resources that will help in their recovery. One of our other goals is to raise awareness that sexual assault and any other type of violence or assault — whether on a date or in a relationship or marriage – is not to be tolerated.
Amy, the survivor who told her story to the crowd last night, found Family Resources and said at that moment, “my life began.”
Her story moved some in the audience to tears. On a beautiful April evening with a crowd that included many children, everyone was quiet while Amy told her story about the horrible secret her children finally shared with her, and the steps she took to escape with her children to a place of safety.
Tables and booths lined the sidewalks around the park, each with information or giveaways. Jeff James was the emcee for the evening, with music provided by the band Borrowed Time. A self-defense demonstration was conducted by Sensei Fred Lepley and students from Shorinji Kempo in Davenport.
There was a touch of fun throughout the event – including face painting for kids – but there were also emotional displays, including t-shirts hung by The Clothesline Project, each with messages from children and other survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
We deeply appreciate those involved in this important event, and we appreciate the coverage by the local news media. The Argus/Dispatch did a story that’s also online, and the Quad-City Times did a story on the front page of today’s newspaper. All of the local TV stations covered the event. Our community is fortunate that the news media helps to get messages like this out to their readers, viewers and listeners, because many people in their audience are suffering, and many have not received help.
Our crisis line is always open. This link will take you to the phone numbers in Illinois, Iowa, and Muscatine.
We would love to see an end to sexual assault and violence. In the meantime, we want all victims to understand that we’re here to help them start a new life – as we were for Amy – so that they, too, can become survivors in a life without abuse and assault. It’s a life that we all deserve.