Actor Jennifer Garner was the guest of honor at The Rape Foundation’s Annual Brunch last Sunday, and her speech to the crowd made it clear that she believes that changes need to be made in our laws and attitudes toward rape and sexual assault. Garner wants to make sure that all victims have a safe place to go for help and to be heard.
Us Weekly reports that Garner praised the work done by The Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Stuart House, the branch of the Foundation that serves sexually abused children. And other celebrities came to honor Garner and praise the organization that has been critical to the community. Beth Behrs, Eric McCormack, Sarah Drew, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, and Milo Ventimiglia from the cast of This Is Us came to the brunch to support the worthy cause which has been in the news daily for the last month with the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.
In relation to the treatment of victims, Garner spoke up with a message that was spot-on: “We need to change.” If as a culture and a country we more care for victims, perhaps more would feel that they have something to gain by coming forward.
Garner explains that as things stand, too many victims of sexual assault are alone with their pain.
“We must make a commitment as a community and as a country to ensure that there are always safe places for victims to turn to for help.”
Garner says that organizations like The Rape Treatment Center and Stuart House provide light in the dark for so many victims and if as a society we believed those who reach out as a default we could all move toward healing and away from shame.
“Imagine the cultural shift when belief is the norm and sexual assault is no longer a crime committed with impunity.”
Gail Abarbanel, the Foundation’s president, spoke out to say that rape and sexual abuse are not political issues, but rather social issues that touch us all.
“This is not a political issue, this is not a partisan issue, this is a human issue. We can all agree that victims of rape and sexual abuse deserve to be treated with care and respect. To be heard.”
Beth Behr of 2 Broke Girls fame says that her bond with the organization is personal because she reached out to The Rape Treatment Center when her sister was assaulted.
“The Rape Treatment Center is super personal to me, it’s where I took my sister the morning after her assault and we call the women who work here our angels, especially Gail. I could not think of a better place to be today.”
If you have been a victim of sexual assault you are not alone. You can call 1-800-656-4637, 24 hours a day, or click here for a live online chat.