Take Back the Night is an interactive event that educates the community about sexual violence and empowers survivors. The event featured a Resource Fair, Clothesline Project, Music Fest, Ceremony, Special Service Award, Men’s Impact Panel, Men’s Pledge, Empowerment March, Candlelight Vigil and a Survivor Speak-Out.
The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay was among the Take Back the Night supporters. The Crisis Center is dedicated to helping restore the lives of sexual violence victims. Lilly Ho-Pehling, the vice president of Business Development and Client Services spoke at TBTN.
She expressed both her pride and pain over the 40-year-old crisis center. It has been an invaluable resource in the Tampa community, but Ho-Pehling, like many others, wish the needs wasn’t there. She talked about the many focal points of the Crisis Center.
- Transcare- transports individuals from the hospital to their facilities.
- Travelers Aid– assists people at the airport. “Two months ago we had a woman come to us who was getting of the plane who was a victim of human sexual trafficking,” said Ho-Pehling. “She had no money and no place to go, she never even had an identification on her. She didn’t exist because she had no ID.”
- Telephone Reassurance– For suicidal individuals, or an “elderly individuals who are at the end of their lives who have no family, no friends and we are the only voice that they hear all day long,” said Ho-Pehling.
- 211– A free 24/7 crisis counseling service for those in need.
- Case Management– A service to help stabilize families. “We are family stabilization for those individuals who have had hard luck and just need that support, we are there for them,” said Ho-Pehling.
- Sexual Assault Services– The only medical center in the county that deals with rape and violence. They also offer counseling and free STD/HIV testing.