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Actress, Senators Lend Clout to Fight Rape

October 23, 1985|LINK MATHEWSON

When it comes to stopping rape, there's safety in numbers. So Lynn Geiger decided to pool resources from the Orange County Business Exchange, an Anaheim-based networking group, to benefit the Orange County Sexual Assault Network and the Rape Crisis Hotline. Then Geiger, of the fashion color coordinating firm Seasons in Harmony, joined forces with Victims for Victims founder actress Teresa Saldana, a state senator or two and a few distinguished members of the police force and called her luncheon "A Harvest of Fashions."

More than 250 attended the show Thursday at the Emerald of Anaheim hotel, netting the Sexual Assault Network $5,000. The network provides a 24-hour hot line offering counseling and information and organizes public information workshops and support groups for victims.

Netword founder and president Linda Yuppa introduced state Sen. William Campbell (R-Hacienda Heights), organizer of the recent and highly successful Conference for Women.

He lauded Saldana, the victim of a brutal attack and stabbing in 1982, for "more than anyone, making the people in the state and this nation aware of the problems encountered by . . . victims of assault." Several people watched as Saldana was stabbed 10 times by her assailant before being rescued by a bystander, Jeff Fenn, a resident of Orange County. She required 26 pints of blood and open-heart surgery.

Saldana discovered that having someone with whom she could talk about her experience and her feelings of depression and isolation was psychologically beneficial. As a result, she founded Victims for Victims, which also focuses on improving and expanding assault victims' rights.

She encouraged support for Network and Victims for Victims programs.

"It's important for people who have survived a tragedy of this nature to come together," Saldana said. "At the same time, it's important to realize that we have survived, that there's time in our lives left to laugh, to have a good time and to look at pretty fur coats and pretty clothes again."

Sen. Ed Royce (R-Anaheim) was honored for legislation calling for the withholding of the names of rape victims from publications and their addresses and telephone numbers from the accused. The legislation also made it mandatory for mentally disordered sex offenders to register with local authorities within two weeks after their release from prison.

Detective Mary Lavonne Campbell of the Newport Beach Police Department, 1984 Police Officer of the Year, was also honored "for her manner of dealing with (rape) victims with compassion and respect and restoring their confidence within the criminal justice system," Campbell said. The policewoman often provides comfort for rape victims, who in many cases repeat their story "at least 21 times" as they move through the judicial process.

Unable to attend, but recognized for his general support of the network, was state Sen. John Seymour (R-Anaheim).

Attending were Newport Beach Mayor Phil Maurer, Police Chief Charles Gross and Police Officer Art Campbell, Mary Lavonne's husband.

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