Local resident Lisa Wock (nee Russell) is organizing event that she says will help young people who have been victimized by sexual abuse.
“'Speak up:' Giving Child Sexual Abuse a Voice” will take place on Saturday, September 29 at the Days Inn Plaza in Estevan. Doors will open at 5 p.m. Supper will be served at 6 p.m., and speakers will start at 7 p.m.
Proceeds will be directed to Little Warriors' Be Brave Ranch, which is located in Alberta. It offers rehabilitation programs for sexually abused children and their families. Wock says it's the first agency of its kind in Canada.
Other charities in Estevan will also benefit.
Wock will be among the speakers. A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, she will be sharing her story. Her husband, Mike, will give the perspective of the spouse of a survivor.
Other speakers will include Lisa Wock's life coach, Stacey Wempe, who will explain what a life coach does, and how Wempe assisted Wock with her battles. A local police officer will discuss the impact of sexual abuse in the community, and how addiction can be intertwined with abuse.
Cortney Needham, a representative from the Be Brave Ranch, will talk about the ranch's impact.
“There are lots of therapeutic centres for pedophiles in Canada to get rehabilitated, but nothing for the survivors in Canada,” said Wock.
There will also be a 50/50 and a raffle. Wock said ticket sales are progressing well for the event. Tickets cost $60 each, or $480 for a table of eight.
Wock said she decided to host the event because of her own experiences.
“I am a survivor and a mother, and I am a role model for my girls, and if it happened to them, I would hope they would speak up,” said Wock. “I feel more empowered than ever telling my story. There's no more shame in what I have told, and speaking up was the right thing to do.
“I'm asking people to educate themselves, to not make this a taboo subject anymore, to speak up, to do what's right, to help empower the victims, to not run away anymore, and to educate themselves.”
Wock noted that Needham has decided to stay in Estevan for a couple of days after the "Speak Up" fundraiser. Needham will conduct abuse prevention workshops at the Estevan Public Library on September 30 at 1 p.m. and October 1 at 6 p.m.
This isn't the first time that Wock has advocated for Little Warriors. Earlier this year, she created a YouTube video entitled “A Valentine's Message About Sexual Abuse by Lisa,” which she paid tribute to the support of her husband. The video was dedicated to Little Warriors and former NHL star Theoren Fleury, who was also a victim of childhood sexual abuse.