Eighth annual Choose Respect March to take place on Thursday, March 23

Join the Sitka Youth Leadership Committee and Sitkans Against Family Violence (SAFV) and walk in the Eighth Annual Choose Respect March from noon to 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 23. There also will be a sign-making event from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, at The Island Institute, on Baranof Street across from Baranof Elementary School.

We’ll start at Totem Square at noon, head down Lincoln Street and gather at the Crescent Harbor Shelter. Let everyone know that you support the movement to stop the epidemic of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child sexual abuse in Alaska. At the rally, you will learn about some of the exciting programs in the community which empower youth to prevent violence before it ever occurs.

“When we started planning, we thought it would be timely to widen the focus from intimate partner violence to all kinds of violence we are witnessing these days,” said Martina Kurzer, SAFV Community Coordinator. “We’ll march for equality and diversity, and against violence and oppression. So immigration, LGBTQIA, poverty, abuse of power, are all issues we can express in this event. Our hope is to offer another opportunity for making a statement. We’ll have some speakers there, including Kathy Hope-Erickson, Phil Burdick, and hopefully, some student council members. The event will be over by 12:45 pm.”

Even though the state no longer provides support for statewide Choose Respect March events, SAFV is keeping the Sitka event going. If you are an employer, please allow your staff members to participate in this community event. Our goal is to be seen, statewide, as a community that cares.

Nearly one out of every two women in Sitka (47 percent) has experienced domestic violence, sexual violence, or both in her lifetime, according to a 2012 survey by the UAA Justice Center.

For questions, please call Martina or Julia at SAFV, 747-3370. We look forward to seeing you there.


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