Today was Governor Parnell’s Choose Respect rally, which raises awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault. More than 140 communities are participating this year. In Anchorage, we marched from the park strip to town square to the wailing of bagpipes and deep drum beats.
Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell and Senator Lisa Murkowski both spoke, but the speech of the day came from a survivor named Connie. Her message was one of hope and resilience, and she spoke about how the support of a community can and will make a difference for people trying to safely leave abusive relationships.
I was proud to be part of such a great event again, but as many said, showing up for one day of awareness isn’t going to do it – as a community, as a state, we all need to work together to show that being “the rape capital of the US” isn’t an option.
It’s time to choose respect, now and for the future.