For Immediate Release: March 29, 2007
Senator Andrew Rice
Rice to Speak at Rally to Bring Awareness to Sexual Assault
Sexual violence is increasing
in Oklahoma and State Senator Andrew Rice is joining with the
Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
as well as Take Back the Night: Oklahoma (TBTN) to help raise
awareness of the growing epidemic.
"April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and to help bring
awareness to that we're having a special event on April 1, which
will include a march and rally, to reach out to victims, survivors,
friends and families to honor and give these victims a voice,"
said Rice, D-Oklahoma City. "Each year, there are around
1,600 reported cases of sexual assault in Oklahoma, but there
are many more that are too afraid to come forward and we want
to let those people know that there is help for them and others
that have been through what they have."
The "Take Back the Night" event will be held at the
South Plaza of the State Capitol on Lincoln Boulevard beginning
at 3:00 p.m. The pre-march rally will kick off at 5:15 p.m.
with the march beginning at 6:00 p.m. Special guests Sen. Rice
and Susan Krug, the Victim Services Unit Chief for the Attorney
General's office, along with many others will lead the march
carrying TBTN's banner. Participants will march south on Lincoln
Boulevard to the crosswalk at 13th street and then back to the
Capitol. Following the march, a rally will be held which will
include a variety of speakers, including Sen. Rice, as well
"The rally will be important because it will allow people
to express themselves without fear and share their stories with
others," said Rice. "It will also help raise awareness
of sexual violence in our state. We must take a stand against
this hideous crime and help break the silence for so many victims."
During his first term in office as a State Senator, Rice has
worked hard to help victims authoring such legislation as Senate
Bill 105 to create the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies
(CARE) Act, which would have provided emergency contraceptives
for rape victims. To Rice's disappointment, the measure did
not receive a hearing in the Senate Rules committee.
"We've got to work together to change the mindset of our
state and nation. For the most part, this is a silent crime
because victims won't come forward; but we know it's happening.
Our society has the mindset of out of sight, out of mind and
it's time to change that," said Rice. "I applaud those
who have worked so hard to make this historical event a reality
and I encourage people to come out and show their support."
Sponsors for the event include the Oklahoma Coalition Against
Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, Oklahoma Court Appointed
Special Advocates (CASA), the Oklahoma State Health Department,
the Women's Service & Family Resource Center, Latino Community
Development Agency/ Proyecto Cambio, Amnesty International,
Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma, Spirits of Hope and
the Office of the Attorney General.
For help, information or volunteer opportunities, call the Oklahoma
Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault at
405-524-0700, or visit the Take Back the Night: Oklahoma website
For more information contact:
Senator Rice's Office: (405) 521-5610