Dozens March for Sexual Assault Awareness -, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Dozens March for Sexual Assault Awareness


Amber Pepin is no stranger to activism. She works for Growing Strong, a sexual assault relief center in Decatur. Every year, the organization ditches the office and takes to the streets to spread its message.

"Our march is visible," said Pepin. Our march gets everyone in the community who may not be taking part in regular awareness events.. they can just see us on their everyday streets."

Davianne Kirk was one of the marchers Thursday evening, taking pride in every stride.

"We're really marching to demonstrate that we're fed up with this," said Kirk. "It's not consensual sex. It's rape. It's sexual assault and it has to end now."

Kiani Warnsley doesn't think people are hearing that message.

"It needs to be a little bit louder," said Warnsley.

So she marched to the beat of her drum.

"We're just going to make some noise to get people to come out their houses."

After all.. the statistics of sexual assault are frightening.

"Sexual assault impacts both men and women, girls and boys," said Pepin. "And the current statistic is that it's 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted by the age of 18. I have kids come to me on a very regular basis to disclose to me about abuse that they're suffering. It is so very common that I know that every classroom I go in to, that there is most likely a child that at some point has struggled with this issue."

That's why marches like these can't be loud enough.

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