A rally in support of victims of sexual assault drew several hundred to Park Central Square in Springfield Saturday afternoon.
The event featured music, speakers, a self-defense demonstration, and booths from a variety of local organizations who were supporting the cause.
The event’s speakers included Missouri House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, Brandi Bartel of the Victim Center, Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller, and Me Too President Jordan Harris.
The event also featured the “What Were You Wearing?” display, which shows the clothing that different victims of sexual assault were wearing at the times they were attacked, aiming at dispelling any belief in the frequently used attack against victims that somehow they were encouraging their assault.
A message running through the event was that blaming of victims of assault is never acceptable and that community members need to be more aware of supporting victims in ways that don’t make victims feel shame.
Me Too Springfield officials also said the rally was a “celebration of the resilience and strength of local survivors.”
The event also served as a location for residents to sign the petition calling for the removal of 31st Judicial Circuit Judge Calvin Holden. Holden has been accused of being too lenient in his sentences for those convicted of sex crimes.
(Headline photo of Crystal Quade courtesy Me Too Springfield’s Facebook page.)