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Saving Grace to host virtual ‘Take Back the Night’ event

Saving Grace

Also four awareness events marking Sexual Assault Awareness Month

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- In January 2016, Cassie Hanlin went on a first date with a man she knew from mutual friends.

“He just said he wanted to hang out and get to know me better. We ordered a pizza, grabbed a couple beers, started talking, and then things started getting fuzzy. And then I started blacking out. When Hanlin woke up, groggy and confused, she was in his bedroom. “I was stuck in that room for five hours. There were multiple points I thought I was going to lose my life.”

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Saving Grace, a local nonprofit organization, in partnership with COCC is hosting “Take Back the Night” — a virtual event streaming straight to your smartphone or computer.

This online event will bring awareness to sexual violence and provide a space for survivors and their experiences.

“We’re here for all survivors,” said Saving Grace Executive Director Cassi MacQueen. “The truth is, you likely know someone who was raped or sexually assaulted, but you just don’t know it.”

For survivors like Hanlin, it only takes an instant to become a statistic. According to the CDC, one in five women will be raped at some point in their lives. “I said ‘no’ and it happened anyway,” Hanlin said. “Looking back, I realize what a significant part that [statement] was because at the time, I thought it was my fault.”

Hanlin remembers a volunteer from Saving Grace coming to the hospital with a gift — a quilt she still has today. “I was so glad she was there. I felt so alone. She said everything I needed to hear, like, ‘It’s not your fault. You are going to get through this.’” Soon after, Hanlin joined a Saving Grace support group. “I was trying to be as invisible as possible, but eventually I started opening up slowly and it became my safe place.”

“A person I trusted from a safe community had violated and broken my foundation, my understanding of what I knew to be true in the world. I didn’t know who I could trust after that. Everyone was a secret agent, and I didn’t know who was going to strike next.”

COCC is collaborating with Saving Grace for this online event, as well as for four awareness events leading up to Take Back the Night on Thursday, April 29th.

Bringing light, standing in solidarity, and shattering the silence during this difficult time, is the purpose of this year’s virtual Take Back the Night event.

What: Sexual Assault Month Awareness Activities (Free)

When: Every Thursday in April 2021- 6:00pm-7:30pm

Where: Online at (for zoom link)

What: Take Back the Night: Online Event (Free)

When: Thursday, April 29th, 2021 - 6:00pm-7:00pm

Where: Online at

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