Locals enjoy poetry as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Hector Martinez, Reporter

Take Back The Mic, a community awareness event, took place at the Mercy Hospital Downtown Bakersfield, on which several public members got the opportunity to deliverpoems to all those who attended this event during the Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

This event was presented by the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. It was on April 19, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Cindy Lyday, who is the External Affairs Managerof the Alliance,explained that it was the first time that the alliance had the event.

“Every year in April the Alliance have an event for the month of April, which is the Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and they came up with the idea ofTake Back The Mic for this April,” said Lyday.

Lyday explained that the event was to promote social awareness and they invited anyone and everyone who would like to talk about rape culture, molestation and sexual assault.

Lyday also explainedthat it could have been the case that some of the performers for the event are survivors themselves, or they knew friends or family members that are survivors.

“The point of tonight is to let them have a forum where they can empower themselves… they get to speak their truth tonight,” said Lyday.

Lyday explained that the speakers sent their poems, songs, or speeches to the Alliancecommittee to review beforehand, and that also helped them to exactly know how long each poem, song, etc. was.

At the event, members of the Alliancewere also providing audience members with brochures of the Alliance. Inside them,people could found beneficialinformation that they could use like for example their phone number and other information.

The brochures also had the many services they provide for the survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. The Alliance provideswith shelter for people who are fleeing a violent situation. They also provide with counseling servicesto victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, andchild abuse.

The Alliance also provides free self-defense classes to anyone.

Lyday also explained that the Alliance is already planning for their next event for the October Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“Each year we partner with Channel 17 and have a barbeque,” said Lyday.

The Allience’s next event will be on Oct. 10 at Channel 17.