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Annual Walk/Run for Sexual Violence Awareness Soon to Take Place

By Rebecca Carvell

On April 30th the 9th annual Walk/Run will take place at the Sanford Center. It is $30 to register at zapevent.com. Last year the event had 90 participants and over 20 volunteers helping to run the event.

Coordinator, Donna Heck, works in the Bemidji office for Support Within Reach and has said that the main goal of the event is to spread awareness and to help the community as the funds from this event go toward helping victims.

Support Within Reach helps victims by having a 24-hour resource center open equipped with a crisis line, one-on-one counseling, assistance to get patients through to a follow-up appointment, law enforcement advocacy and so much more.  The funding raised from hosting the event will go toward keeping these resources available, along with creating advocacy programs. It will also help Support Within Reach to have an advocate there 24/7 to help victims get in touch with help and to the hospital if they need.

Last year 712 people called in and Support Within Reach was able to help all of them. Support Within Reach is a non-profit group and the walk/run is funded by local businesses such as North Homes, Minnesota Energy, Mix 103.7, arvig, First National Bank, Midco, Ottertail Power Company and Arrow Printing Inc. They also work with Bemidji State University to promote their cause. Some of the funds raised will go toward paying Hero’s Timing for their work at the race.

“Our main thing is safety,” Heck said. The organization helps to create safety plans, helps victims through the court process and will even help to file a restraining order if needed.

Heck believes that the community needs to be more aware that this type of thing is happening and there are ways to prevent it. 44% of all victims are under the age of 18 and another 80% are under 30. Every 107 seconds another American is sexually assaulted. “We believe you,” Heck wants victims to know.

For more information on the event, community members and students can ‘like’ Support Within Reach on Facebook. Registration on race day will begin at 8 am.