Events held to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Events were held on campus last week in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month to shed a light on what sexual assault is and how to use consent. 

Carrie Linn, prevention educator from HOPE, Inc. presented a Consent workshop to go along with the theme “I Ask” from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. 

“We want to break the silence because we have a lot of survivors and victims that deal with the trauma and feel like they can’t come out and tell anyone about it,” she said. “Part of my job is to provide education to prevent these things from happening, teach what consent is, that it’s not a scary word and how people can get it.” 

Linn said prevention starts even with the small parts of a relationship of any sort, like asking if it’s OK to hug someone and learning to have open conversations from the beginning. 

“With college students, we’re trying to bring more education in to prevent it from happening but we also want to bring awareness from when it does,” she said. “We want to help them make those decisions.” 

Wednesday students were able to join “Chalk the Walk” outside of the Falcon Center. Students were encouraged to write messages of prevention, awareness, consent and hope. 

“What Were You Wearing” was hosted on Main Street in the Falcon Center from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. where descriptions of clothing that survivors were wearing when they were assaulted. This display is to challenge the notion that what individuals wear causes sexual violence. In relation to that, the entire campus community was encouraged to participate in “Denim Day” to show support, educate and raise awareness about sexual assault and rape. 

Sexual Assault Awareness Month calls attention to the fact that sexual violence is widespread and impacts every person in communities across the nation. 

The campaign champions the power of asking for consent — whether it be asking to hold someone’s hand, for permission to share personal information with others, or if a partner is interested in sex. Consent is a clear, concrete example of what it takes to end sexual harassment, abuse, and assault. The goal of the campaign is to empower everyone to put consent into practice. I Ask is the statement by which individuals will demonstrate that asking for consent is a healthy, normal, and necessary part of everyday interactions.

The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. Rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment harm communities ad statistics show one in five women and one in 67 men will be raped at some point in their lives.