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The economy may be souring, but the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center's Chocolate and Wine event sweetens their survivor programs with a delicious Saturday affair.

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One sexual assault survivor wanted her advocate to sing with her as she went through her rape exam, a way of coping with the horrors of what she was currently experiencing.   One of several ways the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center helps the community from education, prevention, crisis intervention, and counseling.

As the recession deepens, some Santa Barbarans are cutting down on attending charity events.  An affair, such as the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center's Chocolate and Wine event on Saturday, may be a way Santa Barbarans can give and get their just desserts.

Samplings of various premium wines and chocolates along with entertainment and auctions will be the highlights of the evening, but the reasons for the evening will be behind the scenes. 

Sexual assault support is essential in times of high unemployment and a floundering economy, sometimes even more so. 

"We bring a sense of hope and empowerment to a sexual assault survivor at a time when every aspect of their life is in a state of chaos," Elsa Granados, Executive Director, said.  "We hold their hands through the legal and medical aspects of the process.  We are often the first place a sexual assault survivor calls even before the police."

The Chocolate and Wine Event helps give short term counseling to immediate sexual assault survivors as well as long term counseling to those who even 10 years from an assault are dealing with the aftermath.      

Silence is a barrier to healing.  You can break the silence and contribute to the healing by attending the Chocolate and Wine Event on Saturday, November 7th, at the Island View Nursery at 3376 Foothill Road in Carpinteria (next to the Polo Fields).  The VIP event starts an hour early at 6pm, tickets are $100. Advanced tickets are $65, $75 at the door and the event goes from 7pm-10pm.   

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