For months now, there's been a national focus on sexual harassment and assault, with stories of abuse by well-known celebrities, politicians and media members being brought to light and driving much of the conversation.
But with #MeToo and #TimesUp people around the world have also been sharing their own stories and highlighting the breadth of sexual violence, leading people to talk about what's going on in their own communities, as 14 women did for the Inlander's #MeToo issue in December
So what can someone do to address these issues in their community? What is already being done
? What isn't, but should be?
Lutheran Community Services hopes to answer those questions and move the community conversation forward Thursday, Feb. 8, with its Time's Up Spokane Town Hall,
says Erin Williams Hueter, director of victim advocacy and education for Lutheran.
The community sexual assault center has pulled together a broad panel of people who can speak to what's already happening in Spokane County, and talk about what needs to change. Among them are representatives from law enforcement, the judicial system, sexual assault victim advocates
, nurses, survivors, and more.
The free town hall will allow a short time for each speaker to talk about the current state of things and then offer time for community members to ask questions, either anonymously or at a microphone, Williams Hueter says.
"We really want a safe space for survivors to speak out, as panelists and community members, and want people to feel like they can engage in questions about what it is that can be done," she says.
Victim advocates will be on hand for people who need someone to talk to, and information about other resources will be available.
Doors open at 5 pm, and the event will start promptly at 5:30 to make sure everyone gets a chance to speak, Williams Hueter says.
The list of expected panelists includes:
Northeast Community Center • 4001 N. Cook St. • Thu, Feb. 8 at 5:30 pm
- Survivors & Loved Ones: Carmen Pacheco-Jones, Phillip Tyler, and Councilwoman Kate Burke
- Robbie Thorne, Providence Emergency Department Nurse Manager
- Ross Anderson, a victim rights attorney specializing in employment and education matters for survivors
- Tiffany Kelly, Sexual Assault & Family Trauma Response Center Clinical Director
- Washington State Patrol Crime Lab Scientist Lorraine Heath
- Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney Kelly Fitzgerald
- Washington Certified Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Ligeia DeVleming
- Spokane Police Department SVU Sgt. Mike McNab
- Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich
- The Honorable Judge Maryann Moreno
Lutheran Community Services' 24-hour sexual assault crisis line is 509-624-7273.
You can also call Frontier Behavioral Health's 24-hour First Call for Help line, which is available for supportive listening and helping with all sorts of emotional and mental health issues, at 509-838-4428 or toll free at 1-877-678-4428.