The Sexual Assault Center of Fort Oglethorpe is urging fathers from Catoosa, Walker and Dade counties to take a stand against sexual misconduct this weekend.
On Saturday, June 16, the advocacy center is hosting its inaugural Father's Day Extravaganza, providing a casual environment for men and women alike to learn what they can do to create a safer environment for their children and loved ones.
Being held at the Walker County Civic Center, the family-friendly event will feature live music, a car show and a ropes course guided by members of the LaFayette Police Department. There will also be a silent auction and plenty of outdoor activities for kids, and vendors like Pink Zebra and Scentsy will be on-site.
Representatives from the Sexual Assault Center will be present to talk to anyone interested in learning more about the organization and the services it provides.
"You never know who's going to come up to you at an event," said SAC Executive Director Rachel Robinson.
Robinson said Father's Day weekend is a great time to raise awareness about sexual assault because local fathers and grandfathers have already shown interest in the cause.
"Fathers take a stand against sexual assault, whether it be for their female daughters or for their sons," said Robinson. "The [men] that we talk to usually want to know what they can do to eradicate sexual assault in their communities and the cities that they live in."
The advocacy center works to support the victim's entire family after an assault, and Robinson has seen the additional comfort a parent's presence during the process can provide.
"We get a plethora of fathers and mothers that come to the center together to support their child, whether the child be 16, 17 or 35," she said.
Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky, she added.
"In America, a lot of fathers are absent," said Robinson. "[We] want to make fathers aware that sexual violence happens and your children need your support."
The event will build on the momentum gained through the #MeToo movement, which began raising awareness about sexual misconduct across the globe late last year.
"With the #MeToo movement, we have seen a huge increase in men and women coming forward who were victims of sexual violence years ago," Robinson said. "They're coming out of the woodwork to say, 'Me too. It happened to me too.'"
The extravaganza will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission to the event is free.
Email Myron Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org