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THE JANE DOE PROJECT

March 3, 2009 - GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (March 3, 2009) - On Thursday, March 19, 2009, Aquinas College will be hosting a one night only performance of The Jane Doe Project at 7 p.m. in the Wege Ballroom with a pre-event beginning at 6 p.m.

The Jane Doe Project is a mixed-genre performance written, directed, and produced by Aquinas student Cheyna Roczkowski. Based on interviews conducted with Aquinas women (traditional students, faculty, alumni, and continuing education students) concerning their experiences with rape, sexual assault, molestation, and domestic violence, The Jane Doe Project seeks to bring awareness to the overarching effects of violence against women as well as end the silence surrounding this issue.

In the words of Cheyna Roczkowski, "This project is designed to present a safe space where both men and women can increase their awareness of this devastating issue as well as allow victims a possible chance at healing by hearing their stories read anonymously out loud."

Along with increasing awareness for the issue, Roczkowski has also organized a pre-event to take place in the Wege Ballroom beginning at 6 p.m., while the play itself will start at 7 p.m. This pre-event will have tables set up with women's organizations from around Michigan displaying information, volunteer sign-ups, and donation baskets. While local band, The Backstrokes, plays Roczkowski and her team of faculty and students will be selling T-shirts and faculty made cupcakes. There is no cost for this event, but it is strongly encouraged that you make a donation of time or money in any one of these forms. All proceeds gathered through T-shirt and cupcake sales will go to benefit the YWCA as well as other local organizations striving to end violence against women.

Roczkowski says, "The pre-event is extremely important to what I am trying to accomplish with The Jane Doe Project. I am trying to raise awareness as well as pro-active responses to violence against women. By having women's organizations present as well as various forms to donate, I am allowing the audience to take a stand immediately, because too often with performances we become strongly affected, but by the time we get home, the issue has become less real and less immediate. This way, the leg work is done, and all you have to do is decide what the best way is for you to contribute to the cause."