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WPTV featured a piece on the Palm Beach Victims’ Coalition’s National Day Of Remembrance 2017:
PALM BEACH SHORES, Fla. – Families and friends of people lost to homicide never forget the tragedy of losing loved ones so senselessly.
On Sunday, the Palm Beach County community came together to remember those victims.
The Palm Beach Victims’ Rights Coalition hosted a ceremony ahead of the National Day of Remembrance on Monday.
The ceremony was held at the Palm Beach Shores Community Center and honored victims of violence. Families spoke about the grief and their experiences in the wake of tragedy.
“People are affected by this on a daily basis. It’s not a short-term problem — it’s long-term. It’s eye opening for people that haven’t been touched by violence to know that it exists and how these people are affected by it. It affects us all,” said Annette Andre of the Palm Beach County Victims’ Rights Coalition.
Families traveled from other parts of Florida to attend Sunday’s event in Palm Beach County.
Four years after she released her last single, three years after she accused her producer of rape and just over a year after her claims of abuse were dismissed in court, singer Kesha has returned – and it’s clear that she’s not content to leave the events of the past behind.
Although she doesn’t name and shame in her new single Praying, which she released last week, it’s clear that Kesha is singing about her tumultuous legal battle with her former producer, Lukasz ‘Dr. Luke’ Gottwald, who in 2014 she accused of sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment and two counts of rape (he countersued and she eventually dropped the charges after a lengthy and complicated series of events).
Kesha’s comeback could have been a feud-inflaming rant of a song – or even a vacuous pop ditty; either would have gone viral. Instead, she has released something more nuanced and, in turn, has opened a new chapter in the public discussion surrounding sexual violence. In one song, she has turned the narrative about rape on its head.
Nestled among lyrics like ‘Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell/I had to learn how to fight for myself’, she also belts out ‘I hope you find your peace’ and ‘Sometimes I pray for you at night/Someday – maybe – you’ll see the light’.
As someone who was sexually assaulted as a teenager, I know why Kesha has focused on compassion and not anger. Simply: she isn’t angry. She isn’t crumbling, or trying to convince us that she was telling the truth. We can choose to believe her, we can choose not to. She doesn’t care; but she does care about finding a way to move on – and that involves waving goodbye to her bitterness. This narrative is one that’s previously been missing in the myriad of think-pieces, interviews and debates on rape. Fury has been the emotion fuelling the fire – and that’s no bad thing. We do need anger. It’s what drove women to campaign for the first statutory definition of rape in 1976; it’s what pushed women to lobby for the marital rape exemption to be abolished in 1991. And that anger is still propelling us: in recent years, horror at the creeping prevalence of online pornography and the messages it subtly teaches boys about girls, has led to consent being discussed in classrooms around the country. Righteous fury at the men who force themselves onto and into women’s bodies simply because they want to – and simply because they can – is good for us. It was good for me. Becoming angry at the man who assaulted me was an essential part of getting better. If I hadn’t done that I’d still be blaming myself.
But it was also bad for me. Following my assault at university, I battled depression and post-traumatic stress disorder for years before eventually dropping out. It was my life that was plunged into uncertainty, not his.
Celebrating resilience – and showing women that it’s possible to rebuild their lives is essential
As the Certified Rape Crisis Center for Palm Beach County, Victim Services is responsible for assisting inmates at the Sao Palm Re-Entry Center. To cooperate with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, (PREA – the first United States federal law passed dealing with the sexual assault of prisoners), crisis responders took a tour of the prison and met with the warden.
What is Sago Palm Re-Entry Center?
Sago Palm Re-Entry Center is classified at the lowest custody level for a facility. Minimum security prisons or prison camps are comprised of non-secure dormitories which are routinely patrolled by correctional officers, it has it’s own group toilet and shower area adjacent to the sleeping quarters that contain double bunks and lockers. The prison has a single perimeter fence which is inspected on a regular basis, but has no armed watch towers or roving patrol. There is less supervision and control over inmates in the dormitories and less supervision of inmate movement within the prison than at any other custody level. Inmates assigned to minimum security prisons generally pose the least risk to public safety. The camp is considered the best situation to be in if you have to be incarcerated. Inmates must have less than 10 years on their sentence, be non-violent with a clear disciplinary history to qualify for camp designation. Long term inmates at higher security institutions within the system are incentivized to “work their way down” in the custody levels to be eligible for transfer to the camp.