For his 16th birthday, Tommy Williams, a sexual assault survivor, is celebrating the courage of those who are speaking up.
“For me, as soon as I told, it was like a huge weight lifted, and then that’s when the courage really like kicks in, like, okay, people believe me. They will believe me. I can do this, and I can help other people, as well, to show them you don’t have to be afraid,” Williams said.
The event on March 8th at Hollidaysburg Area High School will feature Williams, Jennifer Storm, a Pennsylvania Victim’s Advocate, Jennifer Riley, the State Director of Marsy’s Law, and one other speaker.
Trade Secrets owner Stephanie Hite is donating 50 bath bombs to Tommy Talks PA for their fundraising efforts that night. She said, as a local business, giving back to the community is essential.
“With Tommy being the age he is, he’s willing to speak out about it and have the courage to do that. There are so many adults who wouldn’t have the courage to do that, so I really feel like promoting him and supporting him may bring forth other people that have been in the same situation or similar and need the support and knowing there is support out there,” Hite said.
Other local vendors like Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream and Say it With Sweets will be there to help with the event.
Williams said he wants anyone who has been sexually abused to know one thing.
“The one thing that people need to know if they’ve been sexual assaulted is someone will listen.”
The event is 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and all are welcome to come.