On Saturday, October 18, 2014, the Sexual Assault Crisis Center held its signature fundraiser Shall We Dance at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel. This uplifting and entertaining event is meant to increase awareness about sexual assault while helping raise the important funds we need to uphold our mission. We would like to share the letter we received from Ms. Melinda Tempelis, Deputy District Attorney for Outagamie County who was in attendance that night.
My dear friends….
I spent this morning catching up on my sexual assault referrals including a Child Advocacy Center video of a 3 year old sexual assault victim and can’t help but be overwhelmed by the impact of the Sexual Assault Crisis Center’s Shall We Dance fundraising event.
Unfortunately, few people understand or appreciate the impact of sexual violence in our community or on its victims. Day in and day out, we see the faces, hear the stories and work together and independently to do whatever we can to make a difference. Some days, the work seems insurmountable and heartbreaking and other days we experience sweet justice. Over the almost 12 years I have been here, I have always been amazed and impressed with the collaborative efforts our county has on so many issues – domestic violence, sexual violence, child maltreatment and others.
The Shall We Dance event is incredible for so many reasons….but one of the most important is the community involvement and awareness. People are talking about the issue of sexual violence, and the more people talk the more “comfortable” the topic becomes. So hopefully, when a child comes forward, or a friend confides in another friend, or a co-worker learns her friend was a victim in a pending case, or a victim decides to make that scary, brave call to law enforcement or go to their medical provider, people will not just BELIEVE victims, but they will know the Sexual Assault Crisis Center is there to help. From my standpoint, it also helps educate our jury pool. Eventually, these people could be in our jury box making the decisions on our cases. Whatever we can do to educate potential jurors helps us hold offenders accountable.
And then there is that heart stopping, Oh My God, you have to be kidding moment when you realize all your hard work and dedication raised $300,000 plus for the Center and our team to continue doing the work we do best! UNREAL. There are a million reasons why I love the SWD event, but I have to get to court and have another referral sitting on my desk. But as I get back to it, my heart is a little lighter because I can see the faces of people we have helped this last year and know that as names come across my desk, you’ll be there to support the healing process.
From my heart, a very big thank you for the countless, exhausting hours you put into this event!! I am inspired and awed to work alongside such driven, compassionate friends and colleagues! I couldn’t do my work without all of you!
With admiration and thanks,
Deputy District Attorney