Some 1.3 million women were raped during the year preceding the 2010 survey. Nearly one in five women have been raped in their lifetime, and one in four women have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner.
“According to the study, women experience high rates of severe intimate partner violence, rape and stalking,” reported Ann Marie Brewer, chairman of the Women’s Council for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce.
To address such issues, the Chamber of Commerce is offering “Personal Safety for Women” as the topic for the February Women’s Council.
On Feb. 25, noon to 1:15 p.m., Officers Evie West and Jennifer McKee will address the topic at a luncheon for women in the Chamber’s Conference Center.
West grew up in Los Angeles until the age of 19, when she moved to Cleveland to attend Lee University. In 2001 she graduated from Lee with a bachelor's degree in Intercultural Studies. She joined the Cleveland Police Department after graduation and worked as a patrol officer until she was transferred to the Support Services Division as a school resource officer.
She has worked at every elementary school in the city school district and at Cleveland High School.
In February 2008, West was transferred to the position of public relations and recruiting officer. She currently holds this position along with serving as media liaison and training officer.
West also is charged with coordinating and directing all public relations events handled at the Cleveland Police Service Center and throughout the community, ranging from fingerprinting children for child identification kits to assisting neighborhood residents in the implementation of neighborhood watches.
McKee is currently a field training officer with the Cleveland Police Department. She is assigned as a community officer in Cleveland's targeted crime zones, specializing in domestic violence, drugs and alcohol crimes.
She has been working for the police department for almost six years after graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a psychology degree.
Specifically, McKee is the department's RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) instructor. RAD promotes awareness, prevention, reduction and avoidance that every woman can utilize in her day-to-day lifestyle.
She has been teaching RAD for four years now with over 100 graduates.
Last year McKee added a radKIDS program, which teaches safety and abduction defense to children ages 3½ to 12 years old.
“All women are invited to participate in our Women’s Council sessions,” Bernadette Douglas, executive vice president for the Chamber of Commerce, said.
“We encourage you join us for this opportunity to network and to learn about this widespread violation of women’s rights.”
Cost of the “Personal Safety for Women” session is $15 for Chamber members and $25 for non-members and includes a buffet luncheon.
To register, call 423-472-6587 by noon on Feb. 22. Chamber members also may register online at the community calendar at www.cleveland chamber.com.