U.S.Attorney for South Dakota Brendan Johnson, son of U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, spoke at the recent Take Back the Night event at BHSU.
At least one out of every three women worldwide has been beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime; however, less than 50 percent of these crimes are reported. Black Hills State University has joined in the campaign to raise awareness of this abuse and provide an open dialogue about it.

The BHSU Psychology Club in partnership with the BHSU Drama Club and the Artemis House, a local victims’ of violence intervention program, recently hosted a Take Back the Night event on campus. This is the fifth year BHSU has held a Take Back the Night; events are held internationally to promote awareness for sexual assault and violence by providing individuals with a way to shatter the silence and share stories of sexual assault.

The BHSU event included a question and answer portion with a panel of professionals from the community which discussed ways to cope with and understand what happens when an individual is sexually assaulted.

The panel consisted of four member of the Sexual Abuse Response Team (SART) including Mary Koens from the Artemis House, Spearfish Police Department Det. Boyd Dean, emergency room director Lacy Joens, and Lawrence County Deputy Attorney Amber Richey. Dr. Jim Hess, chair of the BHSU School of Behavioral Sciences and retired clinician, and Tracy Lehman, University counselor, represented BHSU.

This year, the Psychology Club and Artemis House invited U.S. Attorney for South Dakota Brendan Johnson, son of U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson,to be the keynote speaker. As part of his visit, Johnson toured the campus and spoke with a BHSU business class.

“He (Johnson) enjoyed his time on campus that day. BHSU has much to be proud of,” according to Ace Crawford, member of the U.S. Attorney’soffice.

Take Back the Night is a national organization which encourages events to bring awareness to sexual assault and violence. To learn more aboutthe organization and read survivor stories from individuals across the United States visit www.takebackthenight.org.