launch of new website

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Courageous Larry Nassar Victims Speak at Inourownwords.us event 

Launch Event, Ann Arbor Library November 8 at 7 p.m.

Meet some of the courageous victims who spoke out against predator Larry Nassar, leaders of Michigan organizations fighting sexual assault and Ann Arbor journalists covering this important story.

Wayne County SAFE’s Trinea Gonczar and three other Nassar victims Larissa Boyce, Jessica Smith and Christina Baker Barba will conduct a panel discussion on the impact of these historic cases at a launch event for inourownwords.us. They will joined by Brigitte Gurden from  Lansing’s  Eve Inc., Natalie Rogers of Reclaim MSU, Michigan Public Radio Reporter Kate Wells and Alexa St. John, editor of The Michigan Daily.

The event, launches inourownwords.us,  a new website featuring more than 200 victim impact statements presented at Nassar’s sentencing hearings in Ingham and Eaton Counties.  It will be held on the fourth floor of the Ann Arbor District Library, 343 S. Fifth Avenue at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 8.

Inourownwords.us features a valuable searchable database created by the Heartland Independent Film Forum with the support of its media sponsor, The Michigan Daily. The site includes more than 1,400 pages of unabridged victim impact statements from these hearings as well as a timeline and media links. These powerful first hand accounts offer a unique opportunity to understand how a trusted physician and family friend could abuse his position of authority for more than 20 years. This one of a kind resource helps students, their professors, families, journalists and attorneys research this case and understand how we can work together to make sure that this decades long pattern of abuse never happens again.

Please join us to hear Nassar’s victims at this free Ann Arbor panel discussion on this landmark case that has led to life sentences for the former physician. At this event you will learn how a culture of denial made it so difficult for Nassar’s victims to stop his devastating pattern of abuse. Speakers will also describe positive steps being taken at campuses across the country to stop sexual assault.

About inourownwords.us
In addition to all the victim impact statements from the Nassar sentencing hearings and a searchable database, the site includes a valuable timeline on the Nassar case as well as links to continuing coverage. Created by web designer James Sparling, the site also honors the brave women who, with the help of the Indianapolis Star, broke this story.

If you are a Nassar survivor who would like to appear at this event please email us in confidence at confidential@inourownwords.us You can also call for event information at (231) 720-0930.

About Wayne County SAFE
WC SAFE provides those affected by sexual assault with immediate and ongoing comprehensive services, at no cost, that encourage survivor healing and empowerment, promote public awareness and leads social change. WC SAFE is a non-profit, 501(c)3, comprehensive organization that provides compassionate and trauma-informed care to survivors of sexual assault throughout Wayne County. WC SAFE provides a safe, quiet, confidential environment with specially trained Forensic Examiners in order to provide medical examinations and forensic evidence collection for rape victims. http://wcsafe.org/

About Kate Wells
Michigan Public Radio reporter Kate Wells joined Lindsey Smith to create the Believed podcast currently being distributed by National Public Radio.

About Reclaim MSU’s Natalie Rogers
Natalie Rogers serves as the Communications Coordinator for ReclaimMSU, an alliance of students, staff, faculty, and alumni working for accountability and transparency from the MSU administration She is a third year student at Michigan State University in the James Madison College studying Comparative Cultures and Politics with a minor in Swahili. Details at reclaimmsu.com

About the Heartland Independent Film Forum
A nonprofit foundation, Heartland, based in Muskegon, is dedicated to public interest causes in the American midwest. Via feature films, videos, websites, and related books and public events we promote the public interest with a special focus on the American midwest. Heartland is chaired by Roger Rapoport, a former Michigan Daily editor.

About the Michigan Daily
One of America’s most honored student newspaper with numerous Pulitzer Prize winning alumni, The Michigan Daily continues its long tradition of breaking news on the major stories of our day. The Daily continues to give voice to the courageous survivors who were abused by Larry Nassar and have spoken out about his crimes. Alexa St. John is the Daily’s editor-in-chief.

rogerdrapoport@me.com  339 Houston Avenue, Muskegon, MI 49441
(231) 720-0930