This year will be the 13th time that Hamilton will participate in the worldwide "Take Back the Night" demonstration. The Ravalli County Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence will gather at the corner of US 93 and Marcus Street Friday night, April 13. The event is to "take a stand against gender inequality, stereotypes and sexual assault," and is part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), according to a news release from Sonya Bitterman of SAFE in the Bitterroot.

The SAAM Theme this year is "Embrace Your Voice" - support survivors, stand up to victim blaming, shut down rape jokes, correct misconceptions and promote consent.

SAFE (Supporters of Abuse Free Environments) has been a main support group for the demonstration every year. The marches and rallies advocate for the rights of everyone to feel safe from violence - not just at night but at any time of the day. Officials report that one in five American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.

Following the demonstration, Chapter One Book Store will have a "Speak Out" at 7 p.m. at the store on 3rd and Main. You are invited to recite an original work, read a poem or favorite quote or share your personal story.

Bitterman also reported that a "consent and bystander" workshop will be held Monday, April 23, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Bitterroot College on the corner of South 9th and Main in Hamilton.

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