by Emily Oleson
On Wednesday, April 25th, the senior boys and girls from Algona High School and Bishop Garrigan listened to speakers talking about the importance of staying safe while being out on their own in the upcoming months.
The girls traveled to the Presbyterian church and listened to Stephanie Miller, the assistant county attorney, talk about rape, consent, and the importance of having friends know where you are. She also talked about how humans have three stages of response: flight, fright, and freeze. Miller pointed out the definition of sexual assault according to Iowa law, the importance of knowing that it’s not the victim’s fault, and helping all victims move on from the traumatic event by getting the appropriate help. The girls also listened to Amber Lawrence talk about the importance of being aware of sex trafficking. Sex trafficking occurs in many more incidences than the typical stranger kidnapping young girls like people think. Sex trafficking occurs whenever someone performs sexual acts in trade for something they need. So this can be for shelter, money, etc. They can be lured in through a job, friends, boyfriends, etc. Lawrence gave advice on how to avoid these situations, like if the job or person seems too good to be true, it probably is.
The boys went to the Knights of Columbus Hall and listened to Officer Bacha, from the Algona Police Department, and Sergeant Robinson, who is a deputy for the county. The officers gave statistics on sexual assaults and offenses. They also informed the males about the sentences for each of the crimes. Bacha and Robinson pointed out how sex offenders can be anyone, there isn’t a “typical” person for offending. One statistic shared was, if you’re four years and one day older than someone under the age of 18, you can be charged. The youngest sexual assault victim in Kossuth County was under two years old. The boys found an interest in a video shared, relaying sex to tea and when it is appropriate to offer to tea another.
Thanks to the Knights of Columbus and Soroptimists of Algona for providing lunch for the senior girls and boys and putting on these presentations. Both groups got helpful tips for when they go out into the real world of work or college next year. Stay safe. Senior Ashlynn Weiland says, “The luncheon was very educational.”