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A stand against violence


April 29, 2009 | 08:23 AM

Putting a stop to violence, especially crimes against women and children, was the focus Thursday evening at a public event on the Corydon town square. It was the fourth annual Take Back the Night sponsored by the Harrison County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coordinating Council.

"Unfortunately, it's a big problem" here and it's on the rise, Sgt. Bryan Byrne of the Harrison County Sheriff's Department said.

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During Thursday evening’s Take Back the Night event on the Corydon town square, Daniel Evans, a tae kwon do instructor from Scottsburg, has one of his students, Shelley Armstrong, demonstrate a martial arts move that could be used in self defense. Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor (click for larger version)
Byrne is a member of the council and the police department's officer responsible for registering sex offenders in Harrison County.

During the last five years, Byrne and another officer have investigated at least 100 cases, he said.

"We are trying to solve the problem," he said, adding that it takes various agencies working together to make a difference.

Rus Ervin Funk, the program's keynote speaker, said it's important for men to become part of the solution to ending the violence.

Funk is the author of a manual titled "Reaching Men: Strategies for Preventing Sexist Attitudes, Behaviors and Violence." (More information can be found on his Web site, www.rus@rusfunk.com.)

Just recently back from a trip to Brazil where he was involved with domestic violence training, Funk talked about activities men can do to spread the message about ending domestic violence, including the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event.

"We can laugh at each other for a serious cause," he said.

Funk quoted James Baldwin, saying, "The most radical step you can take is your next one."

Take Back the Night started in Germany in 1973 and expanded to San Francisco in 1977.

Byrne invited anyone interested in helping combat the problem to attend the Harrison County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coordinating Council's monthly meetings, which are on the first Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. at Lincoln Hills Christian Church in Corydon.

In addition to information from services such as Hoosier Hills PACT, The Center for Women and Families, Safe Place and the YMCA of Harrison County, there was a self-defense demonstration by tae kwon do instructor Daniel Evans of Scottsburg.

Evans said martial arts is "a very simple technique" that everyone can use. It can be especially helpful for women who might need to protect themselves from predators.

After demonstrating a few moves, Evans had those who were willing to participate pair up to practice what he had shown them.

A group of men who recently started playing music together performed a few numbers. Martin Stockwell provided lead vocals; others in the group were Jordan Bailey, Brian Marks, Ron McClure Jr. and Michael Sanders.

Donna Lloyd Black, director of Comfort House in Corydon, told those gathered at the close of the event, she was disappointed in the turnout.

"I don't want to negate anything we've done here tonight," she said. "But for a county the size of ours … it's disappointing that only about 50 people" gathered for Take Back the Night.

She encouraged them to spread the word to their family and friends, in hopes of more people attending next year.

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    April 30, 2009 | 07:26 AM

    One of the best ways to stop violence against people is to crack down on animal abuse. As long as animal abuse is condoned, those predisposed to violence will take the next step.

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