Me Too Springfield Responds to Probation of Ozark Man After Second Rape Conviction

Springfield, MO -- Both leadership and members of our organization were outraged at this news. We strongly believe that one of the best ways to lower the rates of sexual assault is to punish perpetrators. Rulings like this send a strong message to rapists that they can get away with it. Not only is it unjust, but sends the message to victims that pursuing justice isn't worth it. We have been given the privilege of hearing and representing local survivors of sexual assault, and their response to this ruling has been clear. Survivors of Springfield, Missouri (including a board member of Me Too Springfield who has been assigned this same judge for her own rape case) have expressed to us how scared they are now that they will not get justice, and their voices of fear and anguish will not be heard. This ruling is a huge setback to the efforts of our organization and city leaders who are invested in regaining the trust of survivors, getting more women to report, and ensuring that justice is served more even-handedly.

#MeToo rally will be held in Springfield to raise awareness and offer support and community to victims

SPRINGFIELD, MO — Southwest Missouri is coming together on Saturday, Oct. 6 to show solidarity with victims of sexual violence and harassment. The rally on Park Central Square from noon to 5 p.m. will be a space dedicated to conversations on the impact and pervasiveness of sexual violence, and action to support and process the eradication of it. Organizers’ stated goals are awareness, community and action. The viral hashtag #MeToo has started a conversation and a movement for radical community healing. Organizer Jordan Harris says, “Me Too Springfield is here to offer support and community to the sexual assault victims of Springfield and surrounding areas. Sexual violence is so common, but when it happens, the victims are left feeling isolated. This rally’s purpose is to bring healing to our community, and show local survivors that they are not alone in this.” Although the cultural epidemic that breeds sexual violence is not political in nature, legislators recognize they have a role to play leading on this issue—Missouri State Representatives Crystal Quade and Lynn Morris have accepted invitations to speak at the rally. The event will also include musical and spoken word performances, a “What were you wearing?” art exhibit, self-defense demo, and a speaker lineup of local experts. The rally will be inclusive to all people and communities—people of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and all religious-affiliated people and groups. All advocacy organizations, community leaders and community members are invited to participate in this family- and pet-friendly event.