Manatee Glens hosts sexual assault awareness events

March 15, 2013 

— Manatee Glens is hosting two Sexual Assault Awareness Month public events April 1.

A 12:30 p.m. panel discussion "The Next Steps" is designed to open conversation about rape, support victims and help end sexual violence in the community. A public rally at 4 p.m. in the parking lot of Manatee Glens Rape Crisis Center, 383 6th Ave. W., Bradenton, will feature Lauren Book, founder of Lauren's Kids and the Walk In My Shoes annual journey across Florida.

Guests for the panel discussion should RSVP to

Manatee Glens President/CEO Mary Ruiz moderates the panel discussion to include Lauren Book as well as Cathy Wilson, Manatee Glens' director of children's services and community programs. Other panelists are representatives of law enforcement, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Clinic and the judicial system. The panel takes place at the Manatee Chamber/United Way McClure Center, off Technology Terrace in Lakewood Ranch.

Book will address the rally as a stop in her journey from the Florida Keys, criss-crossing the state and concluding April 23 with the "Rally in Tally" on the steps of the state Capitol.

Manatee Glens Rape Crisis Center serves an average of 600 victims each year. In this first year of operation, the SANE Clinic served 59 sexual assault victims who would otherwise go to a hospital emergency room for an exam.

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