An Open Discussion For Healing

An Open Discussion For Healing
Posted on 12/20/2017
Image of Julius Payne
In a health class of about 20 students at East High School, Julius Payne, an education outreach manager for the Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties, passed out four pieces of paper. He told students to write something specific on each one: who they trust most, the place they feel safest, their favorite thing to do and their biggest secret.
Then, he had the kids rip the papers up, one by one.
“This is the person who sexually assaulted you,” Payne said as students tore the first piece in half, adding that people are usually victimized by someone they know.
“This is where your sexual assault takes place,” he continued for the second piece, noting that sexual assault typically happens where a victim feels comfortable.
By the third piece, kids began groaning even before Payne could tell them the fate of their favorite activity — something that could be ruined if the perpetrator is part of that activity, Payne said.
Instead of ripping the fourth piece, Payne had the students tuck it away to represent the burden of carrying the secret of sexual assault — a burden that one in four women, and one in six men, carry before the age of 18.
The activity was an introduction to Heroes 4 Hope, a teen dating violence prevention program administered by the Rape Crisis Center of Summit and Medina Counties.
The Millennium Fund for Children, a community-funded effort led by the Akron Beacon Journal/ and the Akron Community Foundation, recently awarded the Rape Crisis Center a $2,000 grant to support its Heroes 4 Hope program. Read more at >>.
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