As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Richland Library will be the site of several book talks that aim to bring attention to sexual assault and teen dating violence.
Richland County Councilwoman Julie-Ann Dixon will lead several discussions of the book “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson. Dixon is a member of Governor Nikki Haley’s Task Force on Criminal Domestic Violence and is an Ambassador for Change with Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands. The library is also partnering with the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
“Speak” was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature. The book tells the story of an isolated high school freshman, who, after being raped at a party, practically stops speaking altogether.
In South Carolina, 10 percent of students surveyed reported being physically forced to have sex, and 16 percent reported being physically assaulted by a boyfriend or girlfriend, according to the 2014 Youth Risk Behavior Survey released by the S.C. Department of Education.
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Richland County residents can pick up a copy of “Speak” at Richland Library locations and take part in the following events:
6-7 p.m. Tuesday: Book talk at Richland Library Sandhills, 1 Summit Parkway
6-7 p.m. April 12: Book talk at Richland Library Sandhills, 1 Summit Parkway
6-7:30 p.m. April 28: Panel discussion on sexual assault and teen dating violence at Richland Library Main. 1431 Assembly St.