Lake County Rising 10th Annual Event - Love Unchained: Finding, Defining, and Reclaiming Our Voices

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Lake County State's Attorneys Office


February 17, 2023


For Immediate Release
Contact: Sara Avalos
(224) 374-2376

Lake County Rising 10th Annual Event - Love Unchained: Finding, Defining, and Reclaiming Our Voices

Mundelein High School Students

Mundelein High School StudentsEva Pechtl and Lily Jones

(Lake County, IL) On Tuesday, February 14, 2023, members of the Lake County community gathered for Lake County Rising, an awareness event focused on the violence against women. This year marked 10 years since beginning this event and was sponsored by the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, in partnership with NICASA Behavioral Health Services, A Safe Place, Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center, Mano a Mano Family Resource Center, YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, and National Louis University.  

The program opened with Mundelein High School Students, Lily Jones and Eva Pechtl singing “The Climb.” Then, Jones accompanied on guitar for their second rendition, Rachel Platten’s Fight Song.  

The event continued with featured speakers from Lake County community organizations, discussing the changes they’ve observed over the past 10 years that had an impact on crimes against women.  

Damaris Lorta, Chief Development Officer of A Safe Place, shared that while improvements have been made over the past 10 years, sadly, crimes against women still happen at appalling rates.  

“I’d like to be out of a job,” Lorta said during her presentation.  

She emphasized that community collaboration and increased engagement between service providers have been hallmarks of positive changes over the past 10 years.  

Sandy Williams, Executive Director of Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center, reminded the audience of the increased awareness that has occurred as the result of movies such as, The Hunting Ground, which focused on sexual assaults on college campuses, and the “ME, TOO” movement.  

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart echoed the sentiment that community engagement is a significant factor in making sure victims of crime receive the support they deserve. State’s Attorney Rinehart said that he and the entire staff of the State’s Attorney’s Office are committed to do their part to ensure that perpetrators of violence are held accountable and that the legal system acts holistically to address the root causes of crime.  

For the past few years, Lake County Rising has had an art contest for Lake County students in 8th grade, and an essay and poetry contests for high school students.  

Winners of these contests were presented with certificates and shared their winning submissions. Mariana Zepeda-Tamez, a student at River Trail School in Gurnee, was the winner of the art contest. The winning essayist and poet both hail from Zion-Benton Township High School. Senior Jared Dawkins shared his essay. 

Dawkins’ essay stated, “By speaking out and challenging oppressive systems, we create a culture of respect and safety for all. This will involve a collective effort and requires citizens to take an active role in advocating for the rights of women and other marginalized communities.”  

Sophomore Sierra-Rayne Lincke shared her poem, When Did Violent Minds Mean the Death of Women? Lincke’s poem paid homage to Sarah Everard, India Cummings, Mahsa Amini, Breonna Taylor, and Brayla Stone, all women who have lost their lives due to violence. In her poem, she vows to “speak up and hope my word finds you well, reminding you of every single woman and girl who lost their life to violent minds.” 


Lake County State's Attorney's Office
18 N. County Street
Waukegan, IL 60085  
Phone: (847) 377-3000