Victims of sexual violence speak out at rally in the Northland

By KBJR News 1

April 29, 2014 Updated Apr 29, 2014 at 7:30 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- The annual Speak Out Against Sexual and Domestic Violence rally kicked off in Superior Tuesday evening.

Northwestern Wisconsin residents gathered to speak out against sexual violence in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

This is the fifth annual 'Speak Out' event, which was supposed to include a march, but due to inclement weather the march was canceled.

The event seeks to raise awareness about Sexual Assault and Violence, through personal stories and statistics.

On display at the event was the "Clothesline Project," ... a display comprised of t-shirts decorated for survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or child abuse.

Speakers at the event say each shirt represents an individual's story and is meant to act as a vehicle for healing.

Members of the public were also invited to share their personal experiences and survivor stories at the gathering.

According to data from the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance, Douglas County ranks 5th out of Wisconsin's 72 counties in the number of reported sexual assaults per capita.

But while more than 1,200 Wisconsin sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement eight or more days following the incident, law enforcement officials say many sexual assaults go unreported, making the total number of incidents difficult to track.