The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 30, 1995, Page 3, Image 3

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    Vigil promotes abuse awareness
By Melanie Branded
Staff Reporter
When Rolin Lemon came home
from work that day, he didn’t expect
to find a bloody handprint on his front
He did not expect to find his wife in
the living room of the apartment, try
ing to hide behind a chair “like an
alley cat caught in the headlights of a
Nor was he prepared for her to
lunge at him, with a knife in her hand.
The same kni fe she had buried deep in
the stomach of one of her attackers
hours earlier to make her escape.
Lemon, a junior education major,
recalled that day at a Domestic Vio
lence/Sexual Assault candlelight vigil
Friday night on Broyhill Plaza.
About 50 people attended the vigil,
sponsored by the University of Ne
braska-Lincoln Women’s Center and
the Women’s Studies Association.
Lemon said his wife had taken a
ride on her motorcycle after classes to
unwind, stopping at the same rest stop
she went to every day to check her oil.
People often asked her if she needed
help, he said, his voice choking on
But two men didn’t offer their help.
Jumping out of their car, Lemon said,
they rushed toward her and knocked
her down. They dragged her into the
woods, where she was beaten and re
peatedly raped for four hours.
Statistics show one in four women
in the United States will be a victim of
sexual assault before age 25, he said.
According to the Lincoln Rape/Spouse
Abuse Crisis Center, the center re
ceived more than 3,950 reports of
sexual assault last year.
Lemon said many men believe vio
lence does not affect them. Those ca
sual attitudes about rape, assault and
harassment should not continue, he
“Stop sweeping the issue away,”
he said. “Stop supporting the people
who want you to believe they are con
cerned, but then turn and give their
support to those who commit these
vile acts.”
Kay Siebler, a member of the Na
tional Organization for Women, said
public inaction has led some men to
believe they have a privilege that grants
them the right to beat or rape a woman.
Siebler cited recent incidents involv
ing NU football players Lawrence
Matthew Miller/DN
Kat Vintom participates in a candlelight vigil for domestic
violence Friday night at Broyhill Plaza.
Phillips and Christian Peter.
Phillips awaits sentencing for the
assault of Kate McEwen, a sopho
more basketball player. Peter was sen
tenced to 18 months probation in May
1994 after being found guilty of a
third-degree sexual assault charge.
“The message here is that a player
can rape or beat a woman, get caught,
be convicted and still be a Nebraska
Husker hero,” Siebler said.
Men need to join women and speak
out against this violence, she said.
“When men work against this sanc
timonious privilege, the statistics will
decrease,” she said.
In the United States, she said, a
woman is battered every 15 seconds.
The local crisis center received
5,900 reports of domestic violence in
1994. At UNL, there have been 30
cases of domestic violence reported
to Victims Services since Jan. 1.
Stan and Pat Harms, both wearing
T-shirts that pictured their daughter
Candice, shared their experience.
Harms, a former UNL student, was
kidnapped, raped and murdered in
Stan Harms said they could not
imagine what Candice must have en
dured at the hands of Roger Bjorklund
and Scott Barney, who were found
guilty of first-degree murder in Harms’
There is no excuse for the violence,
he said, and he encouraged abuse and
rape victims to seek help.
“Let someone else help you get
over that,” he said. “It’s not something
you can go through alone.”
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