JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – People gathered around the Freedom Fountain in Jacksonville on Wednesday for Take Back the Night. It’s an event and march to show survivors support and give them resources to let them know they’re not alone.
“So locally, it shows our community that we’re here to support them through anything that they’re going through sexual assault-related,” said Tony Edmison, court and sexual assault advocate for Onslow Women’s Center. “Specifically for sexual assault awareness month and it is to show that we hear you and we believe you.”
Edmison said through the center’s crisis line, they take over 1,400 calls per year, which shows how important events like this are needed.
Take Back the Night began in the 1970s in California when a group of women came together to raise awareness and protest against violence and sexual assault. Booths from various organizations, as well as the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, provided information and resources at Wednesday night’s event.
Samantha Shavin who is the manager for Finders Keepers thrift store — which is owned and operated by the Onslow Women’s Center — said they try to host events throughout the year to bring awareness to an issue happening around the globe.
“Unfortunately sexual violence doesn’t stop and it’s a continuous battle we have to fight,” said Shavin.
As awareness spreads across the world, each yea, Take Back the Night lands during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Onslow Women’s Center is just one place providing help locally.
“We are here, we are willing to support anybody, men, women, LGBTIQ, we graciously hope that you reach out. We are there to support you. We are a Google search away and we are ready to help you,” said Edmison.
As Sexual Assault Awareness Month is winding down, awareness, help and resources continue. For more information on events throughout the year and ways help can be found, visit Onslow Women’s Center and Finder’s Keepers Thrift Store.