ANCHORAGE -

When it comes to actually stopping sexual assaults in Alaska, how do you get more people to care about a problem that is getting worse? 

That question is why Standing Together Against Rape is using new tactics to fight back, starting with its annual April Sexual Assault Awareness Month kickoff campaign.

"Last year, direct services served about 1,172 people," said Megan Young, who is the event coordinator for STAR. "We've seen increases just this year with how many people have reported from January 1st. We want to stop rape, I mean that's the whole purpose of STAR is to end sexual violence from happening in our community."

Instead of the typical opening ceremony and proclamation, prevention and action methods are being pushed, from real talk with teens about topics like sexual consent and bystander interventions, to convincing more of Alaska's men to "walk the walk" in stopping sexual violence. 

"A lot of kids are kind of like, 'Ooh that's the rape crisis center, that's scary'," said Chelsie Morrison-Heath, who is a community educator for STAR. "We are just in there to myth bust, to break up those ideas that have been built up in our society about rape." 

KFAT 92.9 radio personality Don Megga is part of the plan to reach out to a younger generation. He's doing the "Walk A Mile In Her Shoes" event to change how some men think about women. 

"That's who we are, we are the man, we should be able to not only control ourselves, but to be able control how woman are treated, or how we treat them," said Megga who wants to relay that message to teens. "We just kind of have to control that beast, if you want to control the body, you have to grab that head and we wanted to grab the head at a young stage."

It's that thinking STAR hopes others will join in on.

"If your a person who is willing to stand up against violence, if your someone who is willing to step in to be more than an inactive bystander to do something, that's what makes you strong," Morrison-Heath said.

Words about standing up and doing what's right that could be the key in reversing the violent rates. 

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes will be Saturday, April 26th at the University Center from 11:30am to 1pm. All proceeds will go to STAR's response, counseling, and education services. 

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