Caddo Parish officials will take part in activities associated with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 8-14, 2018, as well as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The theme for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week this year is “Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims.”
The local observance will officially kick off Monday, April 9, 2018, with an 11 a.m. proclamation ceremony at the Caddo Parish Courthouse, 501 Texas St., Shreveport. Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr. and other law officials will speak at the event. Mention will be made of accomplishments of local victim assistance coordinators who have completed the process to become National Credentialed Advocates through the National Organization for Victim Assistance. Two of the District Attorney’s personnel — Leone Fitzgerald and Stephanie Mosley — received credentialing at the most advanced comprehensive level, with Lesley Lacy at the intermediate level. More information on that program is at https://www.thenacp.org/
Other local events will kick off a bit earlier, with the Gingerbread House Food Truck Block Party Saturday, April 7, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Flying Heart Brewing, 700 Barksdale Blvd., Bossier City. This is a family-friendly event, with bounce houses and activities for children and adults, including six food trucks. A raffle drawing will be held for $1,000 in gift cards from local restaurants, including 2 Johns, Silver Star Smokehouse, Twisted Root, La Madeleine, First Watch, Superior Grill, Sushi Gen, Cantina Laredo, Rhino Coffee and Another Broken Egg. One ticket will win all 10 gift cards. Tickets are $5 each and will be sold at the event.
A Community Awareness and Safety Fun Day will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Safety Town, 8910 Jewella Ave., Shreveport. It also will offer bounce houses, refreshments and tours of Safety Town as well as information tables by local organizations that serve crime victims, including the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office.
On Friday, April 27, employees of the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office will observe “Wear Denim Day.” Participants will pay $5 to wear jeans to work, with proceeds being donated to Project Celebration for use in providing direct services to sexual assault survivors as well as community education. Denim Day was triggered by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court in which a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. In this rape prevention education campaign community members, elected officials, businesses and students are asked to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against misconceptions that surround sexual assault.
Volunteers for Youth Justice will hold several “Light of Hope” ceremonies throughout the month. The first will be Tuesday, April 10, at 5 p.m. at the Bossier Parish Courthouse in Benton. The second will be held on Thursday, April 19, at 6 p.m. at the Jacqueline Park Gazebo in Minden. The final ceremony will be Tuesday, April 24, at 5 p.m. at Caddo Parish Juvenile Court, 1835 Spring Street in Shreveport.
Here is a calendar of other local events associated with this national observance:
Friday, April 6, 2018: Sexual Assault Forensic Nurse Examiners “Teal Out” tabling event, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Ambulatory Care Clinic across from University Health.
Friday, April 13, 2018: Project Celebration and Barksdale Air Force Base Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) “Shine the Light on Sexual Violence 5K Walk.” A Color Fun Run, will begin at 6 p.m., with a Glow Run, at 7 p.m. All participants will receive a T-shirt as well as other swag the day of the race. Register through www.christfitgym.gym/shine-the-light, or call Amber Webster at (318) 227-7900.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018: Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana Pinwheel Planting, 10 a.m., at the Caddo Parish Juvenile Court, 1835 Spring Street in Shreveport.
Monday, April 23, 2018: Speak Up-Speak Out, male-led panel discussion, 3:30 p.m. at the Shreveport Job Corps Center, 2815 Lillian St., Shreveport.
Wednesday, April 25: Embrace Your Voice, female-led panel discussion, 3:30 p.m. at the Shreveport Job Corps Center, 2815 Lillian St., Shreveport.
Saturday, April 28: CASA Superhero Run, 8 a.m. in Shreveport’s Red River District. Early registration through Friday, April 13, is $20, with pre-race registration April 14-27 $25. Day-of-race registration is $30. Register through www.sportspectrumusa.com (https://runsignup.com/Race/LA/Shreveport/SuperheroRunforCASA) or contact Deanna Curtis at (318) 263-2292 (email Deannafirstname.lastname@example.org.)
For more information on the national observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, visit the website https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/