Survivors & supporters rally to 'take back the night' - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Survivors & supporters rally to 'take back the night'

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)  - Women gathered in Cincinnati to take back their lives and to take back the night after being victims of sexual assault. The participants refused to sit quietly and instead decided to fight to stand up to sexual assault.

Cathy Harper Lee survived years of sexual abuse as a child.

"When my rights were violated I had no where to turn," Lee said. "And it took me over three years to get justice."

Today, she's fighting to help others get the same.

Dozens of women and men gathered at the event on Friday. They represented all races and all ages. Some of the marchers were abused. While others were there to provide support. Friday, they all laced up their sneakers to stamp out sexual abuse and help survivors take back the power attackers tried to steal.

"And more importantly to come together as a collective to ensure that they have a voice," Lee said. "A loud voice that is strong enough to be heard. To really at one point stop sexual violence, or in the meantime, at least get justice."

The group marched from Sawyer Pointe, over the Southgate Bridge to Peace Bell in Newport. There, a choir sang about the joy of survival; all while hoping to encourage others to come out of the shadows of sexual abuse.

"It's the most under-reported crime," said Leah Holland, co-chair of "Take Back the Night 2010. "We're trying to let people know that they can come forward. You can get an exam in the hospital at UC they do it 24 hours a day."

This is the 21st year for the event.

"It's very difficult," said Christina Hinkle, leader of University Hospital's group SANE, or Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. "But knowing that if it was your mother, your sister, your father, your brother, your wife. We're there for them and that's what really counts."

All organizers want to stress that victims can get help at any time. Nurses with SANE are on call 24-7. Hinkle said they're on the front lines of fighting the crime. She said even if victims don't want to talk to police, they can come to the hospital and speak with one of them.


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