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Volcano Residents Gather in Support of Sexual Assault Victims on ‘Denim Day’

By Tiffany DeMasters
April 28, 2021, 4:10 PM HST
* Updated April 29, 10:22 AM
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Dozens of Volcano residents gathered to show support for their neighbor who was reportedly sexually assaulted earlier this month by a stranger.

“Volcano residents stood in solidarity against sexual assault as the crime hit close to home,” said Neighborhood Watch Coordinator Linda Fuller. “We especially came out to support our friend and neighbor who is a survivor of sexual assault.”

It’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month and today, April 28, is Denim Day, which emphasizes that there is no excuse or invitation for rape, particularly based on what a person wears.

Clad in jeans, the 23 Volcano residents met at the Cooper Center on April 27 to not only show support for sexual assault victims but to discuss recent criminal activity plaguing their normally peaceful community. The reported victim wasn’t at the gathering. However, Fuller presented comments that the woman wanted to share.

“She wanted me to share (that) she thanked the community for their love and support and prayers,” Fuller stated. “She thanks her Knights in Shining Armor who were a group of men that parked in her driveway every night, just in case she woke up scared and screamed — someone would be there to hear her. She thanked everyone who brought meals, she had no energy to cook and was barely eating. She thanks God for giving her the strength to keep going, her faith and calling to God for help during the horrible ordeal.”

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Fuller said the community members also discussed a recent theft at a Volcano business where three vehicles and a toolbox were taken. Their concerns were heightened after a murder occurred in the neighboring community of Aloha Estates.

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“It’s scaring everybody,” Fuller said, adding the homicide investigation is too close for comfort.

Squatters were also a topic of discussion. The squatting issue has always been discussed, but concerns were heightened as the suspect in the sexual assault was reportedly squatting on a property in Volcano for several weeks prior to the incident.

Fuller said the community is working with County Councilperson Ashley Kierkiewicz on getting information on abandoned properties.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
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