On Friday April 7, Take Back the Night in Brentwood will be held in an effort to raise awareness to the rampant rape culture in society and empower survivors of such heinous crimes to come together.
The event, which was scheduled for Brentwood City Park, has been moved to Hannah Nicole Vineyards (6700 Balfour Road) due to weather. The event is being held from 6-10pm and is being put on by the First Generation Farmers, a women-run farm in Discovery Bay.
Alli Cecchini, founder of First Generation Farmers, shared her story of how she became a rape victim more than a year and a half ago. She announced she is a survivor and joined the other 18 million rape survivors in our country.
Now she is seeking a way to help others.
“Immediately after the rape, I began taking steps to press charges against the man who raped me,” explained Cecchini. “I called the rape crisis hotline and the police. I went to the hospital, I did the rape kit, I told and retold my story to the Contra Costa County Sherriff’s office, I worked with the Sheriff’s detective department for weeks and finally obtained a recorded confession from the rapist. I helped set up his arrest, and watched as he was taken away. I prepared for my case when it went to the District Attorney.”
She explained how she did everything that she possibly could but it wasn’t enough.
“Five days later, the rapist was released without bail and no charges pressed. Four months later, while I was waiting for the District Attorney to bring my case to court, I received a voicemail from the detective: “Your case has been dropped. The District Attorney is not pressing charges–he does not feel there is enough evidence to go to court,” explained Cecchini.
To top it off, she was billed for her rape kit.
“Well, I could not stand for that,” said Cecchini. “So I made an oath to myself and every other victim of sexual violence to stand up against this problem. And I keep my promises. This brings me to my first awareness event to publicly tackle this heinous epidemic in our community of sexual assault and rape.”
Take Back the Night events serve as a way for survivors, families, and allies to come together for support and to raise their voices against rape culture that is so rampant in our society. The goals for our event include support and awareness, but we also want to address the problem that women face in rural areas regarding knowledge and access to sexual assault services.
Julie Fischer, who is an organizer of the event, explained that the event is for survivors and allies of survivors to come together as well as bring awareness.
“We started in November when I was a volunteer and I heard about this idea from Alli where we could all come together. We all want awareness because we are all fighting for the same thing,” explained Fischer. “There has never been one in Brentwood where people can talk about this topic, so we set up sponsorship’s and had a lot of conversations with crisis centers. There will be a lot of therapy options available at the event.”
At the event, multiple therapies will be on displace such as art, dance, massage, music, yoga, therapist, music, self-defense classes, plus various informational packets available.
She says the event is seeking to raise $6,000 and thanked the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce for their support.
Fischer says she became one of Cecchini’s allies because the two are alike.
“Alli likes to say I am one side of her crutch. Family, friends can all be allies because it is what allows victims to get through the trauma and feel accepted,” says Fischer. “The issue is after sexual assaults is that victims feel rejected by family and friends who may not necessarily understand the trauma. The allies help with the support and help them feel connected instead of something is wrong that it happened to them.”
Fischer says since the event was announced, the community has gotten behind the event and have shown support in a variety of ways.
“Whether it’s a 10-minute conversation or just a thank you, you can tell in their eyes that people appreciate it,” says Fischer. “There have been lots of love and support that has been sent and its been moving to see. Lots of other victims have also come forward to share their stories. It amazes me how many people you know have been effective by this. They are a survivor or someone close to them is a survivor, its very eye opening.”
The event is free and open to the public.
According to the RAINN statistics:
-Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
-Out of a thousand perpetrators, only six are incarcerated.
According to the Take Back the Night foundation:
-One in three women worldwide will experience sexual violence or partner violence.
-One in six men experience sexual violence.
Visit our event website:
Visit the donation GoFundMe page:
First Generation Farmers
PO BOX 203
Knightsen CA, 94549
Visit the Facebook Event page:
Information provided by Alli Cecchini was released via Press Release