YWCA marks opening of rape crisis center
YWCA leader: ‘We believe survivors, we listen to survivors, and we guide them to the available resources in our community.’ Plus, WL council candidates debate as voting in primary starts.
And thanks to Purdue Student Concert Committee (SCC), presenting Slow Pulp, Wednesday, April 19. Based in Lafayette’s Tim Brouk calls Slow Pulp’s vibe “quite chill yet emotionally powerful” which is led by Emily Massey’s “dreamy guitars and soaring vocals.” The Chicago-based indie rockers will make their West Lafayette debut after a recent European tour with Death Cab for Cutie. Slow Pulp with support from Code Red, Wednesday, April 19, at Loeb Playhouse. Buy tickets here.
YWCA GREATER LAFAYETTE DESIGNATED AS RAPE CRISIS CENTER
YWCA Greater Lafayette, which has been the longtime source of emergency shelter for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault, on Monday marked its recent certification as one of 15 rape crisis centers in Indiana.
The designation through the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking puts YWCA Greater Lafayette staff on call 24/7 for reports of rape, advocacy and case management through time in the hospitals, police investigations and the court process, support groups and prevention efforts across a six-county area based in Lafayette.
“The need is real,” Lindsey Mickler, president and CEO of YWCA Greater Lafayette, said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday morning.
“I wish it wasn’t bittersweet,” Mickler said, echoing sentiments repeated often Monday about excitement for the move, sadness for why it was necessary. “But it is, so we will march on. … We also must increase survivor support, and it starts with each of us in this room. We believe survivors, we listen to survivors, and we guide them to the available resources in our community.”
YWCA Greater Lafayette rape crisis center will cover Tippecanoe, Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Warren and White counties.
Beth White, president and CEO of the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking, said that one in three women in Indiana will experience sexual assault in their lifetime.
“We have a problem,” White said. “A rape crisis center provides services, coordinates with other and also shines a light into the community to say there is hope, there is help and there is healing.”
Mickler said the YWCA qualified as a rape crisis center by adding two additional on-call advocates in fall 2022, as well as increasing its support group functions. The YWCA’s Domestic Violence Intervention and Prevention Program met many of the other criteria set out by the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking ahead of that, including its emergency shelter.
Ericka Lee, who leads the Domestic Violence Intervention and Prevention Program, called Monday “a dream come true,” a necessity, in part, because 63% of assaults are not reported to law enforcement. Mickler said the work will include doing what the YWCA can to increase awareness of facts about sexual assault: that most sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows; that the majority of sexual assaults happen in places ordinarily thought to be safe, like a car or an office; that sexual assault is motivated by hostility, power and control, not motivated by sexual desire.
Mickler said police understood what YWCA did for sexual assault survivors. (The ribbon cutting included Scott Galloway and Troy Harris, Lafayette and West Lafayette police chiefs, as well as the Tippecanoe County Sheriff Bob Goldsmith. Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski, a former LPD detective, talked about how key it was for the city to have the YWCA picking up this part of the task of care for sexual assault survivors.) But having the rape crisis center designation would help raise awareness for hospitals, nonprofit and others about where to turn when they hear from a survivor.
“Whether that’s right now or months or even years after an assault happens,” Mickler said. “We’re here. And we’re here to help.”
CONTACT: The YWCA’s rape crisis hotline is 888-345-1118. The website is ywcalafayette.org.
WEST LAFAYETTE CANDIDATES DEBATE: THEY AGREE, BASICALLY
With early voting set to start Tuesday in the lone Greater Lafayette municipal primary race, the four Democrats running for West Lafayette City Council’s three at-large seats met in a WLFI-TV18 studio Monday night for a debate.
The verdict: They pretty much agreed on every topic, with nuanced shades separating their views on Purdue’s enrollment and the housing crunch that followed it (the city needs to keep pressing the university for better projections and more beds); housing affordability (it’s something the city needs to address); the state’s idea about pulling water from a southern Tippecanoe County aquifer for the giant LEAP development near Lebanon (that’s not wise, when Greater Lafayette is growing so fast, and probably not a great idea anyway); and the millions the city is preparing to spend to move Fire Station No. 2 to a renovating public safety building near the police station on Navajo Drive (for the safety of the firefighters, it’s warranted).
“This isn't a rebuttal,” David Sanders said at one point, pointing to fellow city council members James Blanco and Gerald Thomas and challenger Iris O’Donnell Bellisario. “I don't disagree with anything that my fellow candidates have said.”
Here’s video evidence of the livestreamed debate, via WLFI:
And here’s quick primer on an election season that starts in earnest Tuesday.
About the May 2 primary: Because the four candidates are running for citywide, at-large seats on the West Lafayette City Council, residents across the city who pull Democratic ballots may vote. Because there are no contested Democratic or Republican races in Lafayette, voters there will have no primary.
Meet the candidates: Here’s a Q&A, along with bios, on the four candidates.
Where to vote ahead of May 2: Early voting starts Tuesday, April 18, at the Tippecanoe County Office Building, 20 N. Third St., 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays and will continue until noon May 1. The County Office Building also will have polls set up noon-4 p.m. Saturday, April 29. Early voting also will be available at West Lafayette City Hall, 222 N. Chauncey Ave., noon-6 p.m. Monday, April 24, to Friday, April 28; and noon-4 p.m. Saturday, April 29.
Check your voter registration status: Go to the Secretary of State’s portal at www.indianavoters.com.
OTHER READS …
About that question in the West Lafayette debate about water resources? Here’s where it could be heading. Indianapolis Capital Chronicle reporter Niki Kelly had this on Eli Lilly’s groundbreaking Monday in Boone County, the first in the LEAP Innovation and Research District – including Lilly upping the investment: “Eli Lilly announces expanded $1.6B investment at groundbreaking for Boone County district.”
J&C reporter Ron Wilkins had the details after prosecutors filed Monday against Amarion Alsup, a 19-year-old Kokomo man accused of a Jan. 1 spree that included the shooting death of an 18-year-old in Lafayette. Here’s the article: “Prosecutor: Teen's New Year's Day included 2 robberies, 1 homicide.”
Terrible news over the weekend, when word filtered back through a Frankfort Police Department post on Facebook, about eight Frankfort residents killed in a vehicle crash while traveling in Mexico. WLFI reporter Pari Apostolakos had this, including efforts in Frankfort to help families of the victims: “Eight Frankfort residents, including one-month-old, killed in car crash in Mexico.”
Purdue Exponent reporter Alex Sanchez had the scene at Friday’s dedication of Purdue’s $140 million Engineering and Polytechnic Gateway Complex, dubbed Dudley and Lambertus halls. Here it is, including a giant gold wrecking ball as a prop: “‘Innovation happens here:’ Gateway complex dedication sparks talk of research.”
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