APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – A fundraiser is underway for a new monument for sexual assault survivors in Appleton. It will be connected to a remodel of Ellen Kort Peace Park along the Fox River. The idea for the monument came from Chelsea Bongert. “It really came out of a lot of my speaking in the community,” says Bongert. Being a sexual assault survivor herself, she saw a need for a safe space for other victims. “I thought, there has got to be something more I can give to the community, something more I can do,” Bongert adds.
Bongert says the project has full approval of the city and will coincide with the city’s plan to rehab the park. “I wanted something that will really stand for these survivors and give that hope and that encouragement, and that healing,” explains Bongert.
Peggy Zinkel is a survivor of abuse that happened over three decades ago. She is also involved in fundraising. “People don’t realize what people’s paths are or anything like that and what they’ve been through,” says Zinkel. There are many victims who are afraid to come forward, afraid to speak about it, and/or afraid to see treatment. “You’re not alone, when talking as a Board, my biggest thing I said was you matter,” explains Zinkel.
There are a number of ways to donate. Visit the Sexual Assault Survivors Monument Corporation Facebook page for more information. If you or someone you know is a victim, the Sexual Assault Crisis Center Fox Cities is also a resource. To be able to complete the monument, they need $65,000.