FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Tuesday evening, the University of Saint Francis (USF) Criminologists in Action (CIA) Student Club held ‘Take Back the Night,’ an event to bring awareness to sexual assault.
According to organizers, one in five Hoosier women will be a victim of sexual assault in their lifetime. In addition, Indiana currently ranks fourth in the highest amount of sexual assaults happening to high school girls.
“Sexual assault is still prevalent in our area and in the nation,” said Emma Walker, Housing Coordinator for the YWCA of Northeast Indiana.
The event included panel discussion with sexual assault experts, a Take Back the Night walk around the USF campus and a candlelight vigil in front of the St. Francis Chapel.
Guest Speakers included:
- Det. Sgt. Todd Battershell with the Fort Wayne Police Department, Supervisor Crimes Against Persons Unit,
- Jessica Crozier, Director of Victim Assistance, Fort Wayne Police Department
Michelle Ditton, Chief Nursing Officer and Executive Director of the Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center
- Allen J. Thomas Machielson, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and the Dean of Students, Deputy Title IX Coordinator
- Emma Walker, Housing Coordinator for the YWCA of Northeast Indiana
“If you yourself have survived sexual assault, domestic violence or human trafficking, there are resources in our community to help,” Walker said. She advised survivors to contact anyone of the guest speakers who will be able to help put them in contact with someone who can help with their specific situation.