Community dances in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Community dances in support of Sexual Assualt Awareness Month

LAWTON, OK (TNN) -Many people got out last night and danced the night away in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

This event was hosted by New Directions Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. This is the second time the organization has held a Zumba event during Sexual Assault Awareness Month to help bring the community together.

“Even if you haven’t been through it, supporting someone who has, or may have, is the biggest thing you can do for anyone who has gone through any traumatic event, but especially sexual assault," said Sexual Assualt Survivor and Counselor Shanti.

Sexual Assault Program Coordinator, Katina Perkins said Zumba is therapeutic and an easier way to bring awareness to a sensitive topic. She said it’s a nice feeling to continue to put events like this together to let the community know they have support.

“It feels great because I’m trying to empower people and give them back their power just to be able to have a voice to talk about it, because a lot of people don’t like to talk about it, so giving them a chance to have someone to talk to, letting them know that we do have counselors and our services are free," said Perkins.

Sexual Assault Survivor and Counselor Shanti said one in three women and one in five men have been sexually assaulted. She said the number one fear for victims is not being believed.

“It’s really important to understand that there are people who will believe them, like our organization. I offer counseling for victims who have been through it, family members of victims. If you know anyone who needs help, or you may have an idea, please have them call our hotline so that we can provide services for them," said Shanti.

Perkins said they plan to continue to hold a Zumba Awareness event annually. If you are interested in learning about New Directions Domestic and Sexual Violence Services you can visit their Facebook page. They offer a 24 hour hotline which can be reached at (580) 357-2500.

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