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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters and comments for April 20, 2012

Letters and comments for April 20, 2012

Letters and comments for April 20, 2012

Believe victims


To the Editor:

Nationwide, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Sexual assault is not a topic many people feel comfortable talking about. It’s a crime shrouded in secrecy and silence. This silence can make a victim feel more isolated than other crime victims.

Worse, victims of sexual assault are often not believed and may even be blamed for the assault. Victims hear things like: “What were you wearing?” “Why did you go there?” “How much did you drink?” or “Are you sure you said no?” 

Victim-blaming for sexual assault is an epidemic. Offenders are overlooked and not held responsible for their actions, making sexual assault one of the most under-reported and under-convicted crimes in the nation.

It’s time to talk about it.

Statistics show rapists attack an average of six times and one in three females and one in five males will be sexually abused in their lifetime.

That’s why Shelter From the Storm launched the Start By Believing Campaign.

One of the most important things a victim of sexual violence can hear from a friend or family member is “I believe you and it was not your fault.” 

On April 13, the Start By Believing rally was held at Max Square. Community members took the “I will believe” pledge. EOU’s Women’s Resource and Research Center then lead the Take Back the Night march.

Women’s Empowerment Day was held April 14. Defensive awareness skills were taught and a potluck was held. Also included was “Coming Home to Ourselves,” which included gentle exercises, personal expression, breathing and quiet conversation.

Call Shelter From the Storm, 541-963-7226, for more information.

Stefanie Duncan

crisis response advocate, 

Shelter From the Storm


Letters From Readers

The Observer welcomes letters to the editor. Letters can be no more than 350 words. All letters must be signed by the author and carry the address of the sender.

The Observer edits letters for brevity, grammar, taste and legal reasons. We will not publish consumer complaints against businesses or personal attacks against private individuals. Thank-you letters are discouraged. 

Include a telephone number and address for verification purposes only. Letter writers are limited to one letter every two weeks. Writers of longer Community Comment columns are limited to one every three months.

Send your letters to: The Observer, 1406 Fifth St., La Grande, OR 97850, or they can be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , or faxed to 541-963-7804.

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