Roanoke Valley Family October 2019

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the valley: non-profit

by:Jacqueline Moon

Roanoke Valley Family Talk Series:

Help Save the Next Girl On Tuesday, October 22, the founder of the national nonprofit Help Save the Next Girl will be hosting our Family Talk — this might be our best one yet! For those who aren’t familiar, Help Save the Next Girl was formed by Gil and Dan Harrington in honor of their daughter, Morgan Dana Harrington. Morgan was a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student who was abducted and murdered in October 2009. To honor Morgan’s life and to work to keep other young women and girls from falling victim to the same fate, the Harringtons created a movement that seeks to sensitize young women and girls to predatory danger. The foundation fosters mutual respect


Family/October 2019

and camaraderie with young men, and is committed to being an active, imaginative presence on campuses, in clubs, and in violence prevention forums across the country. This time of year is perfect for sending out the message of Help Save the Next Girl loud and clear, because the fall sees the highest instances of violence against young women on college campuses. The reason for this, according to Gil, is that everything is still new: students’ core groups of friends haven’t yet gelled, new students are away from constant adult supervision for the first time, and, being new to campus, they don’t know where the safe places are yet. The

problem is compounded by the fact that predators are very aware of these things and know to take advantage of them. As for younger girls, Help Save the Next Girl strives to layer the safety training early on — for instance, when at the playground or other public places, stay together to stay safe. And Help Save the Next Girl doesn’t only have a message for girls and young women. “We need males to be heroes too,” Gil explained. “Our message to boys and young men is to keep yourself and your peers safe.” Come to the Colab at 1327 Grandin Rd SW, Roanoke, VA 24015 at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 22, for an interactive presentation and Q&A with Gil Harrington. We’ll have giveaways, door prizes, snacks, and free childcare available. See you then!

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