Ohio and India will be uniting to end rape with a worldwide blackout and candlelight vigil to support survivors.
"We decided that we wanted to do something to show all rape victims that people care. You know that if more women would come forward, if people were educated more, we could try to put a stop to this," says Michelle Robinson of Weirton.
On January 26, from 6 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., a candlelight vigil will take place outside of the Millsop Center in Weirton. If anyone is unable to make the vigil, Michelle Robinson asks that you put a candle in a window of your home to observe darkness from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m.
At the same time, in India, a group of student activists is promoting a country-wide blackout asking for lights to be turned off, and for people to wear black ribbons. They say it's a way to protest government apathy toward women's safety and the lack of policy-changes following the New Delhi gang-rape.
"It's just sad that this still goes on in the United States and across the world; that women are treated like this and something needs to be done. And I think the rape with the woman from India and her death has brought this to more attention to the world," adds Robinson.
Their goal for the vigil is to bring awareness to sexual abuse and let victims know that there is help out there and they don't need to hide. Both of these women have been sexually abused and ended up meeting at the Sexual Assault Center in Steubenville.
Tammy Rodriguez says the hardest part is talking about it and adds that it's unhealthy both physically and mentally to hold it in.
"The first step in healing is talk about it and I held my secret for over three decades. So just getting young girls to come forward so they won't be scared anymore. I hid for over three decades it took me," says Rodriguez.
Both women would like residents to know that the vigil isn't just for women, it's for men, women, boys, girls; anyone who is a victim of sexual abuse.