Alaskans Rally to Support ‘Choose Respect’ Campaign

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage and Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

Alaskans in more than 60 communities held marches today to support Governor Sean Parnell’s “Choose Respect” campaign.

Studies show Alaska has higher rates of rape and family violence than the nation as a whole. Governor Parnell started the initiative in 2009 in an effort to reverse that trend, and he made it one of his main campaign issues last fall.

Saralyn Tabachnik attended the Juneau rally today. She’s executive director of AWARE – or Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies. She says the “Choose Respect” campaign is helping, but there’s more work to do.

Governor Parnell helped carry a colorful “choose respect” banner at the rally at noon in downtown Anchorage.  Half a dozen native men beating hoop drums led 150 marchers to Town Square Park.

In a phone interview before the rally, the Governor said he wants victims and survivors of rape and domestic violence to see that there is hope.

Governor Sean Parnell led a rally at noon in downtown Anchorage to support his “choose respect” initiative. Similar rallies were held today in more than 60 communities across Alaska.

Photo by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

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