Women’s safety focus of library event - Titusville Herald: News

Women’s safety focus of library event

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Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2019 5:00 am

Following a number of overheard concerns in the community and in honor of Women’s History Month, Benson Memorial Library will host a Women’s Safety Program today, featuring a licensed social worker as a special guest.

“The amount of sexual harassment we noticed happening in the library was happening more frequently than normal,” said children’s librarian Becky Stahl. “I was personally really upset by it because it affected me a little bit, as well. I was just chatting with Jess (Hillburn) the one day and I said, ‘we should do something about it,’ and (Hillburn) just happened to know someone.”

Hillburn, the library’s historian, contacted friend Rachel Lohr, who is a licensed social worker and a fitness instructor, and asked if she would be interested in doing a program to teach women in the area a few tips for defending themselves and how to be stern in refuting unwanted advances or comments.

“She’s going to talk about things like stalking, how to know when you’re being stalked, what to do if you think you’re being stalked, like who to tell, how to document and stuff like that, domestic violence, signs to look for in other people, even if it’s not happening to you, how to pick out different warning signs to know when something is happening and how to do some sort of intervening,” Hillburn said.

While this event is for women’s safety, Stahl and Hillburn both said they hoped to see men in attendance as well. Though the information is invaluable to women, they said it never hurts to have men learn, offer support and be willing to learn about what is and isn’t appropriate, as well as what to look for in terms of violence.

“I hope that it gives people in the community more tools to handle potentially uncomfortable and even dangerous situations,” Hillburn said. “That it does happen, and it’s ok to talk about it if it does. Nothing is going to happen if you don’t try.”

In the future, Hillburn said she hopes to hold additional events relating to women, particularly since this year is the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, which extends into 2020, based on when it was ratified. Additionally, she said she would be happy to do events with the Titusville Women’s Shelter. She said she would like to align a few events with the international push by women from 128 countries to end violence against women and girls globally.

In particular, Hillburn hopes to talk about women’s suffrage in the Titusville area, including major women in the community that pushed to allow women in office, women in elected positions and even to create the library and expand it into what it is today.

“The women of Titusville are powerful, and we want to empower them,” she said.

The event will be held at the library today, at 6 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

Dodd can be reached, by email, at ndodd@titusvilleherald.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Jahoba posted at 7:23 am on Thu, Mar 7, 2019.

    Jahoba Posts: 135

    This is a big nothing burger. It is incredibly hard to believe that sexual harassment towards women is a problem in Titusville. Maybe I'm looking at this from the direction. Is this a program that is designed to increase the harassment?


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