TAKING A STAND: Centacare employees Erin Jeffs, Shelley Hayden and Kim Sankey prepare for this year's Reclaim the Night event and street march.
TAKING A STAND: Centacare employees Erin Jeffs, Shelley Hayden and Kim Sankey prepare for this year's Reclaim the Night event and street march. Matt Collins

One question a sexual assault victim should never be asked

"WHAT were you wearing?”

This is a question so often asked of victims of sexual assault.

Centacare's Family and Relationship Services co-ordinator Erin Jeffs said victims of sexual violence should never have to answer such a question.

"It doesn't really matter what you were wearing,” Ms Jeffs said.

The Centacare team is preparing for its annual Reclaim the Night event and town march as part of Sexual Violence Awareness month.

Ms Jeffs said the event was held to raise awareness and challenge people's attitudes towards sexual assault.

"We want to confront people so that they are aware that this is so prevalent in our region,” she said.

This year's event will include a confronting display of pieces of clothing provided by South Burnett survivors of assault.

The Family and Relationship Services co-ordinator said the number of sexual assaults in the South Burnett region was alarming.

"I came into this job with a bit of an attitude of, 'Have seen and heard it all',” she said.

"But I am constantly surprised of just how high the numbers are.”

The South Burnett Centacare organisation has one employee dedicated to supporting sexual assault victims.

In the last 12 months, they spent 1500 hours providing sexual assault counselling and support.

The Reclaim the Night event will be held on Thursday, October 24 from 5pm at the Kingaroy Town Hall Forecourt.

There will be live music and a sausage sizzle after the group march through the Kingaroy CBD.

Ms Jeffs invited people of all ages to join the event.

"Just turn up,” she said.

"We want people in town to come out and help us make some noise and let them know they don't want this to continue in the community.”

For more information, follow the South Burnett Sexual Assault Action Group Facebook page.

South Burnett

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