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Candlelight Vigil To Honor Victims of Sexual Assault

By: Jennifer Cavazos
By: Jennifer Cavazos

While women ages 18 to 25 are most at risk, Melissa Kalka was only 16 when she was raped by her friend at a party. Someone she trusted beat her causing her to have numerous knee surgeries and she's still in physical therapy for her injuries.

"Its hard to really even date anybody. I can't let people in anymore. I won't go places by myself. " says Kalka.

Now almost 6 years later, she felt the need to speak out, hoping to prevent victims from getting hurt.

An annual candlelight vigil was held to honor victims, like Melissa, who have struggled to get their life back.

"I think its important the people see the faces. Because reports aren't there so numbers aren't as high necessarily as they should be. I think it takes seeing a face to put with it to know that it does happen and its real." says Kalka.

In 2004, according to the Rape Crisis Center...565 Brazos Valley clients walked through agency, 86 survivors were escorted to local hospitals for sexual assault kits and 76 clients took part in the one on one counseling.

"So looking at those statistics we deal with it a lot. And when you look at it nationally, you've got one out of every four women has been sexually assualted in their lifetime. As well as one out of every six males. So it is an issue that does effect everybody." says Laury Kasowski, with the Rape Crisis Center.

The agency is now working on more preventative measures -- like Wednesday nights vigil -- to get the word out to the community about sexual assault.


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