‘Your voice has power’

Annual shoe display to spotlight sexual assault

T-R FILE PHOTO For the third year in a row, LUNA (Latinas Unidas por un Nuevo Amanecer) in Marshalltown is collecting shoes to be displayed publicly as a visual representation of the number of men, women and children who have been impacted by sexual assault. This year, the display will be inside the storefront window of Staging 2 Sell It. Pictured is a display from a previous year.

For the third year in a row, LUNA (Latinas Unidas por un Nuevo Amanecer) in Marshalltown is collecting shoes to be displayed publicly in a downtown storefront, as a visual representation of the number of men, women and children who have been impacted by sexual assault.

This year’s theme is “your voice has power.”

“We are planning this year’s display to be stellar,” said LUNA’s Program Coordinator Jodi Bowden-Fuentes. “The background and heart of the display will be a cityscape, kind of a Marvel comic superhero take on the shoes this year.”

She has teamed up with mother/daughter duo Debra Hippler and Alushia Fitzgerald for the display to be set up in their storefront window of Staging 2 Sell It, located at 1 W. Main St. Ken Hoffman will be making the various graphics that will help tie the display together — in both English and Spanish.

“We think [sexual assault] is something that needs to be highlighted more, and our store window is a good corner location for that,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re really looking forward to working with LUNA to try to make this visually impacting.”

According to information provided by the Marshalltown Police Department, in 2017, 25 adult females, 44 female minors and five male minors were sexually assauted in this community. There were no reports of adult male sexual assault. However, according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police — just 1 in 3.

“We look for all types of shoes, but this year the focus is on women and girls, based on the victims there were here,” Bowden-Fuentes explained.

Shoes may be donated now until April 1 outside LUNA’s office — located at suite 190 in the City Centre building (16 E. Main St.), and at the main desk there. The display will be up the entire month of April, in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

All shoes donated for this project will then be given to the Caring Center for distrubution to those in need.

“I am so inspired by the creativity of the ladies at Staging 2 Sell It, who have found an interactive way to use the shoes in a way we haven’t been able to in prior years.”

For more information, Bowden-Fuentes may be reached at (319) 242-7536 or jodi@lunaiowa.org

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com