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Grants support anti-violence speaker

The message championed by Fox Valley Voices of Men is not just for breakfast anymore.

The advocacy group for men opposing sexual assault and violence toward women is best known for its annual breakfast, which normally draws about 1,000 men, as it did Tuesday.

What’s different this year – thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Community Health Action Team (CHAT) Fund and $4,500 Bright Idea Fund grant, both within the Community Foundation – is that the keynote speaker will be spreading the message throughout the Fox Cities all week.

Brenda Tracy

Brenda Tracy started making public appearances in 2014 to tell her story about her 1998 gang rape by four men, two of whom played football at Oregon State University. No charges were ever filed against her alleged rapists. The university suspended the football players for one game and required them to do 25 hours of community service for their “bad choices.”

The statute of limitations ran out on prosecuting the case, so Tracy instead took her fight to state legislatures to change the law on bringing such cases and told her story publicly. That includes these venues in the coming week:

  • UW-Fox Valley, today at noon to 1 p.m. in Perry Hall in the Communications Arts Building.
  • Fox Valley Technical College, Thursday, Nov. 9, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room A170 (park near door #16).
  • Appleton West High School, also Thursday, Nov. 9, 6:30-8 p.m.

Tracy has worked closely with Oregon legislators to expand victims’ rights and has successfully helped to pass seven laws, including extending the Oregon statute of limitations to prosecute rape and mandatory testing of all rape kits in Oregon. She has won numerous awards and was named to ESPN’s 2016 top 25 women. She sits on the NCAA Commission to Combat Sexual Violence and is a frequent guest commentator on CNN and ESPN. Tracy is the founder of the national campaign #SetTheExpectation and travels the country speaking to university students, athletes and nonprofit organizations.

Watch a video of the presentation. Warning: Content includes talk of domestic violence, sexual assault and rape.

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