A local nonprofit is supporting local victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault by raising awareness for victims rights week, which coincides with Sexual Assault Awareness month.
“Many times, people look at women as temptresses.” Payne said. “We’re there to tempt males, and that's how they blame victims.”
Quigley House, whose mission is to heighten awareness and provide advocacy and empowerment to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, is holding sessions at Dicks Wings in Orange Park on Wednesday “so that the community knows that we are there to support,” she said.
Quigley House provides forensic exams, has a physician on staff and provides counseling for victims of sexual assault.
Payne said the services are “not only for the victims, but their extended family” and “whoever this incident may have impacted.”
“Sometimes you need lifelong support,” she said. “It doesn't just end after the funeral or court date.”
Payne said the way to dismantle rape culture is to change the way rape is viewed.
“Rape is not sex. Rape is violence,” she said.
Victims can call 800-339-5017 for help, or visit Quigleyhouse.org for more information.