5k in Oakland Sunday morning raises awareness about sexual violence
Sexual Assault Crisis & Support Center held their 10th annual One in Five 5K at FirstPark Sunday Morning.
OAKLAND, Maine (WABI) - April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Runners hit the roads in Oakland this morning to support those who have been impacted by sexual violence.
”It’s just an amazing event and an amazing way to show survivors that we care,” said Jenna McCarthy, Associate Director, Sexual Assault Crisis & Support Center.
The Sexual Assault Crisis & Support Center held their 10th annual One in Five 5K at FirstPark Sunday Morning.
Last year the event was completely virtual.
COVID safe protocols put in place this year allowed for the event to return the in-person aspect while offering a virtual option as well.
”We’ve got the rules from the Governor, we’re following every single one of them and even more to make sure we keep people safe,” said Maeghan Maloney, President of the Board, Sexual Assault Crisis & Support Center.
The 5K is named after an alarming statistic.
”The prevalence of sexual violence in the state of Maine, the statistics are one in five Mainers will experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetime, so it’s really powerful that people are here in person raising awareness and supporting survivors,“ added McCarthy.
Maloney and McCarthy acknowledged the event wouldn’t be possible without their sponsors, including Hasenfus Family Dental and KSW Federal Credit Union.
”It’s an invaluable nonprofit organization that reaches out and helps a lot of people, and this is one of their major fundraisers, and we’ve seen a lot of need for being able to support them and their cause,” said Josh Hunt, who works for sponsor KSW Federal Credit Union, and also sits on the committee of the 5k.
Kellie Wiswell is a sexual assault survivor who has participated in the event for the past five years.
”When I first heard about the race I said that’s a nice cause, but I’ll never be number one, and it turns out that my son and I are both one of the one in fives, so it means a lot to run the race every year, and cross that finish line knowing you’re another year of surviving,” said Kellie Wiswell.
Wiswell knows the importance of this event, and the work the Sexual Assualt Crisis & Support Center is doing.
”Their website says silent no more, and I can tell you a lot of people stay silent, and you have to break the silence or the crime will not stop,” added Wiswell.
Organizers of the event say they estimate 240 runners ran in person for this year’s event, while another 150 supported the cause virtually.
”We hope that everyone listening who is not with us this year will be with us next year,“ said Maloney.
”Survivors, you’re not alone, we’re here for you, we see you, and we care about you,” McCarthy said.
Awards for this year’s event will be done Monday, virtually on the Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Center’s Facebook page.
For more information, you can visit their website at silentnomore.org
If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual violence, you’re encouraged to call the State’s Sexual Assault Helpline.
The number for the 24-hour, free and confidential helpline is 1-800-871-7741.
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