The Athens Clarke County Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, Inc. (ACC SANE) holds its inaugural fashion show and silent auction on March 16 at 7pm at Akademia Brewing Company in Athens. The benefit is called “What They Were Wearing.” This title has two meanings. First, it was chosen to dispel the victim-blaming myth that the clothing someone is wearing somehow invites a sexual assault. The survivors of sexual assault and rape are not responsible for their attack. Second, the title highlights the fundraising aspect of the show. Models include high profile individuals from Walton, Clarke, Oconee, Barrow and other surrounding Counties. These models will showcase spring clothing lines from local retailers.
The event will raise money for ACC SANE, which provides numerous services including medical services for the evaluation of victims of sexual assault and abuse. District Attorney Randy McGinley and Walton County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Alicia Chandler will be two of the models for the benefit. While tickets for the fashion show are sold out, but Walton County residents can still participate and raise money for ACC SANE.
District Attorney Randy McGinley, elected to serve both Walton and Newton Counties, has spent much of his career handling cases involving rape and sexual assault. “Our society has come a long way in how it views sexual assault. However, we still hear ‘what was she wearing?’ or ‘she didn’t act like a rape victim.’ The District Attorney’s Office handles cases involving sexual assault in a way that minimizes any re-victimization of the survivor of the assault. Our prosecutors, victim advocates, and investigators are highly experienced and highly trained in handling the most difficult of these cases.” McGinley said. “I also believe that working together with great organizations like ACC SANE, our law enforcement partners, and other organizations that serve Walton County leads to the best outcomes in sexual assault cases. I am looking forward to ‘modeling’ for this extremely important event.”
Investigator Alicia Chandler has been involved in sexual assault and rape cases both as a law enforcement investigator and a forensic interviewer of child victims of sexual and physical abuse. About the What They Were Wearing event, Chandler said, “I am honored to be involved in this because of the 1700 children that I have met in my career and shared their story. They are more brave than most of us will ever be. I am participating to show families that there is a very wide range of how victims of sexual assault respond and that there is no ‘normal’ response to such abuse.”
District Attorney McGinley added that one of the first sexual assault trials he ever handled in Walton County was a case that Inv. Chandler was the lead detective. It involved charges of rape and child molestation involving multiple victims by a man who had been a foster parent in Walton County. Working together on that case and numerous cases since then, both McGinley and Chandler have always strived to put victims and survivors of sexual assault first.
If you would like to find out more about the event and the models, visit: https://fundraise.givesmart.com/vf/Model.
Links for District Attorney McGinley and Investigator Chandler: https://fundraise.givesmart.com/vf/Model/RandyMcGinley https://fundraise.givesmart.com/vf/Model/AliciaChandler