Little Black Dress event aims to support survivors of domestic v - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Little Black Dress event aims to support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault

Left to right: Laura Wibbenmeyer, Carly O'Keefe, Rae Daniel and Mollie Lair attend the 2015 Little Black Dress Party benefiting The Women's Center. Left to right: Laura Wibbenmeyer, Carly O'Keefe, Rae Daniel and Mollie Lair attend the 2015 Little Black Dress Party benefiting The Women's Center.
Carly O'Keefe and Rae Daniel work the KFVS booth at SIU Arena. Carly O'Keefe and Rae Daniel work the KFVS booth at SIU Arena.
Laura Wibbenmeyer watches the live entertainment at the 2015 Little Black Dress Party. Laura Wibbenmeyer watches the live entertainment at the 2015 Little Black Dress Party.
All proceeds go to support domestic violence and rape crisis services at The Women's Center. All proceeds go to support domestic violence and rape crisis services at The Women's Center.
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -

Women throughout southern Illinois are picking out their little black dress for a ladies’ night out aimed at ending domestic violence and sexual assault in southern Illinois.

The tenth annual Little Black Dress Party took place September 9,from 6 p.m. at the SIU Arena on the Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus.

Over the past 10 years, thousands of women have come together to support women and families in need. All proceeds from the Little Black Dress Party go to support The Women's Center's mission to end Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault throughout Southern Illinois. 

According to executive director Cathy McClanahan The Women's Center provided 7,844 nights of safe shelter and 3,166 nights of transitional housing to 982 adults and 189 children affected by domestic violence in fiscal year 2016.  Staff members assisted in filing 751 orders of protection between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. 

McClanahan said the Women's Center staff answered 9,135 emergency calls on the center's 24-hour crisis hotline, and Rape Crisis staff members helped 209 people affected by sexual assault. 

In addition, McClanahan said outreach staff provided 394 public education programs to more than 8,700 people and offered more than 700 training sessions to 4,132 local professionals to help spot and react to instances of domestic violence and sexual assault. 

All of the center's services are free, and organizers say that makes fundraisers like the Little Black Dress Party all the more critical to continue the center's work.

"We ask the women in the heartland to join us as we celebrate women while helping women in need," said The Women's Center Board President Patty Cosgrove. "It's the best party in town, and helps a great cause."

The Little Black Dress Party featured an appetizer and dessert buffet, beverages, live music, dancing and more.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.thewomensctr.org, by calling (877)-SALUKIS (725-8547), or through SIU box office online or in person at the Furniture King in Carbondale.

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