Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment Challenges Celebrities Support of Roman Polanski: Moviegoers Encouraged to Boycott Films by Hollywood Supporters

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On October 10, rallies will be held in front of movie theatres across the country and abroad in response to the startling media and Hollywood support of Roman Polanski, the film director convicted of sexual assault and fleeing the country. These powerful demonstrations happening on October 10 are part of a global campaign, Rape IS Rape. This effort is being orchestrated by the nonprofit PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment, who was responsible for the 2007 nationwide "Call it RAPE Protest" that was held in over 40 cities and covered on CNN, TIME, and NBC's Today Show.

Chicago, IL October 5, 2009 -- On October 10, rallies will be held in front of movie theatres across the country and abroad in response to the startling media and Hollywood support of Roman Polanski, the film director convicted of sexual assault and fleeing the country. These powerful demonstrations happening on October 10 are part of a global campaign, Rape IS Rape. This effort is being orchestrated by the nonprofit PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment, who was responsible for the 2007 nationwide "Call it RAPE Protest" that was held in over 40 cities and covered on CNN, TIME, and NBC's Today Show.

PAVE Founder and Executive Director Angela Rose was kidnapped from a shopping mall when she was 17 years old. "As an outspoken survivor of sexual violence, I am horrified at the media and Hollywood's support for a man who fled the country after pleading guilty to a sex crime against a child. The outcry of support for a sexual assault perpetrator is a strong message we are sending out to victims across the country that they will be forever silenced and blamed for these atrocious acts."

According to the US Department of Justice, every two minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. Sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes, with 60% still being left unreported.

Rose said, "Ask any sexual assault survivor and they will tell you that the scars left from the abuse can last a lifetime, especially when the sexual violence is followed by silence, shame and lack of support. The fact that there are several celebrities standing behind Polanski is nothing short of appalling."

PAVE is seeking support from all moviegoers to join in helping shatter the silence of sexual violence. On October 10th, people in cities across North America will gather signatures at movie theatres for a petition that supports survivors of sexual violence. The awareness campaign calls for a boycott of movies by Polanski's supporters.

"This situation saddens me greatly because it sets us back so many years. In supporting Polanski, Hollywood directors, actors and producers are contributing to the ongoing silence surrounding sexual assault," noted Rose. "Our public figures need to support the voices of our vulnerable youth - not those who prey on them."

For more information on this campaign, visit http://www.RapeIsRape.com.

Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment (PAVE), http://www.pavingtheway.net , is a national, grassroots nonprofit. PAVE uses education and action to shatter the silence of sexual violence with targeted social, educational and legislative tactics. PAVE initiatives have been implemented in over 55 cities and in 3 countries.

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