Sexual Assault Resource Agency Calls for Dumler's Resignation
A voice for battered women in central Virginia is now voicing its opinion on the Chris Dumler controversy. Thursday the Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) issued a formal call for Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler to resign.
In January, Dumler pleaded guilty to sexual battery. He was facing a felony forcible sodomy charge, but instead pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery, as part of a plea agreement. Dumler will serve 30 days in jail.
Rebecca Weybright, the executive director of SARA, says they've been quiet for too long and now they demand Dumler resign immediately. Weybright says sexual violence is a serious crime and a violation of community trust.
"I think in some sense our silence was not a good thing. So we needed to come forward with a message to the community that this is not OK," said Weybright.
On Wednesday, a number of people including his own colleagues asked for him to step down as a supervisor.
"We also have a board member that is serving jail time right now to which I personally have a hard time with," said Rodney Thomas, a member of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.
Just last September, Dumler was a celebrity bartender at an event at James River Brewery to raise money for SARA. The fundraiser produced $34 for SARA.
"I think it's really important that when we look to the people who represent us in the public, that having someone who has plead guilty to a sexual battery charge is a very serious problem," said Weybright.
Dumler isn't saying much about the latest call to resign. In a short statement to NBC29 he said, "No comment on that - thanks for the opportunity though, :-)"
Sexual Assault Resource Agency Statement
The Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) calls on Albemarle County Supervisor Christopher J. Dumler to immediately resign his post following his plea of guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery. By his own admission, he has sexually abused at least one woman against her will. This is a serious crime and a violation of the trust the community placed in him by electing him to office.
Sexual violence is a serious problem. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found that 11% of adult women in Virginia have been a victim of rape and 42% of sexual violence other than rape in their lifetimes. The same report found that women who have experienced violence have far greater rates of physical and mental health problems. The cost of these crimes is enormous. In 1996, the National Institute of Justice estimated that rape alone cost adult victims $127 billion per year in lost productivity, medical bills, services, and quality of life.
The mission of the Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) is to eliminate sexual violence and its impact by providing education, advocacy, and support to women, men, and children. Our vision is a community free from sexual violence.
We serve residents of Charlottesville, and Albemarle, Nelson, Louisa, Fluvanna, and Greene Counties, who have experienced any kind of sexual assault including rape, adult sexual assault, child sexual assault, sexual molestation, incest, trafficking, stalking, sexual harassment, or unwanted touching. Services are provided free to all survivors, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, age, economic status, education, parenthood, physical and/or mental abilities, national origin, or any other status. SARA has been providing services to the community for over 30 years.