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'Speak Up': Sexual assault survivors, supporters gather for Take Back The Night Event in Baltimore

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Posted at 10:39 PM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 11:27:47-04

BALTIMORE — Sexual assault survivors and advocates gathered in front of City Hall in Baltimore Thursday for a "Take Back The Night" event.

The event was part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The goal is to support survivors by providing a safe place for them to heal as well as a space for them to be heard.

Amanda Rodriguez said it’s an issue that’s has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic.

“We have seen an increase in our hot line from about 1500 to about 5,000 over the last year," she said.

Rodriguez is the executive director of Turn Around Inc. which is a rape crisis center based in the Baltimore area.

The organization also put together the event.

“What we are seeing is that the violence is real and that it’s palpable," Rodriguez said. “What we are doing is that we are giving survivors their voice back.”

It’s events like these that are giving survivors like Angela Wharton the strength to tell their story.

“I am a survivor of rape and sexual assault right here in Baltimore," Wharton said.

She has since started Phynyx Ministries to help give other survivors support.

“That ministry was birthed out of the pain that I suffered," she said.

She hopes that same pain will continue to fuel more survivors to speak up and reclaim their power.

“Now because of the MeToo movement and Times Up movement...more light is being shown, which I think is imperative because it gives survivors the strength and the courage to be able to speak up and stand in their truth," she said.