Run for Respect 5K brings awareness to sexual assault
By Addis Gonzalez
Sun Star Reporter
The Students of Change club (SoC) is hosting its first ever 5K run on Saturday, April 18 at 9 a.m. beginning and ending at the UAF Police Department. Its goal is to bring awareness to sexual assault and raise funds for local victims during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness month.
“Alaska holds the highest rates of sexual assault. As of 2011, the reported crimes say that 31 percent of women in Fairbanks experienced sexual assault, and 57 percent experienced intimate partner violence, sexual assault or both,” Brittany Luckman, SoC president, said. All the funds from Run for Respect will go to Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living (IAC), according to Luckman. She says IAC is the only shelter of its kind to provide these services in the Interior of Alaska. With only minimal funding available, IAC provides secure shelter and immediate safety for women and their children who are experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault.
IAC also provide information, referrals and training to community members and businesses, according to IAC representative Kara Carlson. “In 2013 IAC responded to 141 sexual assault calls at the hospital,” Carlson said.”All donations assist us in being able to maintain services for those who are impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault in our community.” “By supporting and strengthening this resource, really the whole Fairbanks community benefits,” said personal survivor and SoC and Nanook Diversity & Action Council (NDAC) member Amy Cross.
Restricted by low funding, social programs such as IAC experience financial obstacles. “It is sad that with Alaska having such high rates, we only have one shelter to provide these services,” Luckman said. But Carlson says “we are able to keep our administrative costs low so that most of the funds raised go directly into services for survivors.”
IAC also has The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), which is a coordinated response with law enforcement, an advocate and a forensic nurse examinee to ensure the best care of the survivor and the best possible chance at prosecution of sexual assault, according to Carlson. In order to prevent sexual assault, faculty advisor Andrea Greenberg says the “key is education for the community, law enforcement and the courts. Taking sexual assault claims serious, supporting victims – not re-victimizing them – as they progress through the process of collecting evidence and going to trial.”
“The more that the community hears and reads about a social problem, the more likely it will get elevated to a higher priority status in their perceptions of community needs and funding,” Greenberg said. There will also be a ‘Take Back the Night’ walk on Friday evening April 17 hosted by NDAC, according to Greenberg. This free event will raise awareness of sexual assault by featuring speakers including survivors. The event will also include a candle vigil and a rally which will begin in Constitution Park, according to Cross.
The weekend following Run for Respect will be Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. This is an international walk done to end sexual assault, rape and gender violence, which invites men to gear up in high heels and “walk a mile in her shoes,” according to Cross.
“Take Back the Night” Walk
What: Walk, candle vigil and rally, including guest speakers to raise awareness of sexual assault
When: Friday, April 17. Starts at Constitution Park at 6 p.m.
Cost: Free and open to everyone
Info: Amy Cross, firstname.lastname@example.org
Run For Respect
What: 5K walk/run to raise awareness for sexual assault and fundraiser for Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living
When: April 18, sign ups at 9 a.m., race at 10 a.m. Starts outside of UAF police station
Cost: Registration is $15 students, $20 general admission, and $10 for children 15 and under. Registration at https://sites.google.com/a/alaska.edu/run-for-respect-2015/.
Info: Brittany Luckman, email@example.com
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
What: International walk to help end gender violence. Men are encouraged to wear high heels.
When: Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m. in Pioneer Park parking lot.
Cost: Registration $20, $25 with shoe rental