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Missoula group urges action against sexual assault - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Missoula group urges action against sexual assault

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MISSOULA - Nearly every day a new sexual assault allegation is being brought to light, from the entertainment world to tech industry to political leaders -- and it’s not stopping.

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that every 98 seconds a person is sexually assaulted in America. Reporter Kent Luetzen listened in on a Missoula community discussion about the topic.

There have been multiple movements across the nation on sexual assault in the last month including the #metoo movement, which started more than a decade ago, but recently took off on social media. 

The local group Missoula Rises is hoping this conversation doesn't just stop at the computer.

"There is a lot of descent, there is a lot of conflict, and there is a lot of violence in our world right now. Our goal is to get people face-to-face to have conversations so that we can all grow and develop in our critical consciousness," said Annabelle Winne who moderated the Sexual Violence and Toxic Masculinity discussion on Monday evening.

The group discusses a variety of different topics including toxic masculinity, sexual violence in the minority communities, and workplace conflicts. Missoula Rises hopes that continuing this conversation will spark a voice in victims.

"I'm hoping that people will feel more comfortable sharing their experiences and feel as though they can actually talk about what has happened to them. I think it's important that we have people talk, so it inspires other people to come forward," transgender rights activist Anita Green said.

Missoula Rises is also encouraging anyone who is a victim of sexual assault and needs to talk to a professional to contact the YWCA of Missoula or the Student Advocacy Resource Center on the University of Montana campus. 

Missoula Rises is hoping to have a community conversation on the fourth Monday of every month. More information -- and assistance -- from Missoula Rises can be found by contacting Rebecca Weston at (406) 546-0938 or via email at: rebeccabweston@gmail.com

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