Democratic Women of DuPage County to host panel on sexual assault Aug. 25

On Sunday, Aug. 25, the Democratic Women of DuPage County will host "Shining a Light on Sexual Assault in DuPage County" from 3 to 5 p.m. at 500 Oakmont Lane in Westmont (Illinois Federation of Teachers Office).

Nationally, every 107 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in this country: one in five women and one in 71 men.

Only 5 to 20% of rapes are reported to law enforcement and an even smaller number are prosecuted. Evidence obtained from victims often can take up to a year or longer to be processed. And, way too often, victims are not believed.

The panelists for the program will help you better understand what happens after that 9-1-1 call is placed from a victim of sexual assault.

DuPage State's Attorney Robert Berlin will explain efforts in DuPage County to better address the criminal prosecution side of this crime. Kerry O'Connor, Sexual Assault Nurse Evaluator (SANE), will help you understand what medical/psychological procedures are put in place for victims.

Colleen Zavodny, coordinator for Advocacy & Crisis Intervention from the Chicago Metropolitan YWCA Rape Crisis Center, will discuss the extensive advocacy in place for the victim.

Laura Welch, Will County NOW president, will discuss legislative efforts, including funding, to better address sexual assault statewide.

There will be an opportunity for Q&A at the conclusion of panelists' presentations. Donations of new women's sweatpants, T-shirts and flip-flops to replenish the YWCA "closet" of clothing given to rape victims to replace the clothing taken for evidence by law enforcement are encouraged. Cash/checks are also appreciated. Refreshments will be provided. There is no charge for this event.


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