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Come out and support the rally; you just might learn something

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By Alice Du Pont

When you have the facts on any subject, you are better armed on how to handle any situation.

On Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m. the Refuge House will host an event to bring attention to sexual assault in the community. While the event will be sprinkled with entertainment, refreshments, games and giveaways, the message is a serious one. Information will be available to victims of sexual assault. It could also be useful to families, friends, spouses or partners of a victim of sexual assault in helping with the recovery process.

For almost any problem there is help. Victims may feel that it has only happened to them or they may feel as if it was their fault. Individuals who address these types of crimes and can offer help after a victim has been assaulted. Refuge House offers help through individual counseling, family counseling, information and referral services, as well as legal, landlord and employer services.

Educational programs on the issue of sexual violence are available for public high and middle school students as well as teachers, staff and other professionals.

Sometimes people stay away from information fairs because they think it could never happen to them or anyone they know. But just imagine if, one day, a family member, friend or coworker confides in you that they have been the victim of sexual assault. They tell you that they don't know what to do or where to go and they ask for your help.

Then imagine that you attended Saturday's rally for just a few hours. Maybe you enjoyed the music and refreshments and got to see people you haven't seen in months or years. But while there, you happened to chat with one of the experts on hand and you picked up a brochure. Imagine how much help you could be after attending that rally.

It may never happen to you and it could happen next week. But attend the Sexual Assault Awareness Rally Saturday and bring a friend.