Thursday, September 17, 2009

Find Out About P.A.V.E


The mission of PAVE (Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment) is refreshingly simple: “Shatter the silence of sexual violence through social, educational, and legislative tactics.”  As a society, we can talk about all kinds of crimes, including murders, gangs, and domestic violence, with no problem. We don't think twice about preparing kids about what to do in a fire, earthquake, or tornado. We observe and discuss how the media over-sexualizes teenagers. We go to the movies and laugh at slapstick or dark, inappropriate humor; we even watch horror movies with a sense of enjoyment.

As to “CSI,” “Law and Order”--piece of cake! And we barely flinch at “Dr. 90210” as he works away at the human body in search of perfection.

Yet despite all this, people are incredibly uncomfortable when the subject is abuse—particularly sexual abuse. Well, it's time. Just as it was time about 10 years ago to make breast cancer a focus of national concern, it is time for us to feel just as comfortable discussing how to keep our bodies safe.  And the best way to do it is to hear from those  who have experienced abuse so we can listen to their stories and learn. 

As the world has been mesmerized over the dramatic return of Jaycee Dugard, we all need to be reminded that sexual assault happens every day. Maybe there aren’t the dramatic abductions or climatic returns, but every day women, men, boys and girls are abused. They’re joined by the young, the old, the white, black, brown, the religious and the non-religious. 

And while many people think only those who have been assaulted care about this issue, I am here to tell you that is not so.  Each of us, whether abused or not, personally affected by sexual assault or not, can help shatter the silence by being involved, being active, and supporting amazing organizations like
PAVE (www.pavingtheway.net).

“How?” you may ask. Well, you can begin by commenting on articles that are outrageous, sending cases that need to be publicized to Justice Interrupted (a radio show that brings media attention to the crimes where justice has been interrupted), supporting organizations, and spreading the word and news about such cases. 

This week, you can help protest sexual assault by helping
PAVE…. Join me at an event TONIGHT: Thursday, September 17. PAVE will be holding an benefit event of art, empowerment, and star power.  “Removing the Mask: Art and Soul to Shatter the Silence of Sexual Violence” from 7:00-10:00pm at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 Grand Ave, Los Angeles. This year’s event promises to be a highlight of the season with celebrities, elected officials, and performance art! Learn More Here
 
If you can’t make it, you can still send a donation or show your support by passing the information on to others. Make this your day to do something to help shatter the silence…..and give your support to your friends at PAVE (www.pavingtheway.net).

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