Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Join the Fight!

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As I’m sure you’ve seen on the thousands of flyers that have been thrusted in your face as you walked through the HUB this week (assuming you didn’t promptly throw them away on your way to get a Panda Bowl), April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. There are all kinds of things happening on campus to raise sexual assault awareness, so throw on some teal, get to these events, and show your support!

This Saturday, April 6 is One Heart’s “Lighting the Way Fun Run/Walk,” starting at 2 p.m. on the Business Building Lawn. There are two options, a 4K and a 6K, which represent the 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men that will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18. Registration is only $10, and the first 125 runners to sign up get customized water bottles and wristbands, which is pretty sweet.

Since April is also National Child Abuse Prevention Month (the color for which is blue), One Heart is also encouraging “Blue-Nited We Stand” fundraisers every Friday throughout the month, where students and faculty are encouraged to wear blue and make donations to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape through the One Heart campaign.

On Monday, April 8, Penn State junior Stephanie Wain will present Unreported, her documentary on sexual assault in the Penn State community, in 104 Thomas at 7 p.m. After the screening there will be a discussion panel with local professionals who are advocates for survivors.

Throughout the month, the focus of the Women’s Resource Center of State College will be educating people on consensual sex — apparently you’ll see them downtown near Indigo selling t-shirts and distributing information on what constitutes or does not constitute consent.

On April 8, 10, and 15, there will be free self-defense classes taught by certified instructors of law enforcement. The classes are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in room 112 of the Weston Community Center, which is located in the White Course Apartment complex (read: hella west). This Rape Aggression Defense course is designed for women only, and it focuses on awareness, risk reduction, avoidance options, and prevention. It’s totally free and could definitely prove beneficial, so make the trek and hopefully by the end you’ll feel like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality — solar plexus, instep, nose, groin!

On Tuesday, April 9, there will be an “Expression and Healing Gallery” in which all different forms of art will be displayed as victims’ visual representations of the aftermath of sexual assault.

Also on Tuesday, April 9, there’s a Chipotle Fundraiser where 50 percent of the sales will benefit the Centre County Women’s Resource Center and 1 in 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. Make sure to tell the worker at the register that you’re there for Sexual Assault Awareness Week.

Again on Tuesday, April 9, there is an Expression Gallery at 7 p.m. in 107 Pasquerilla where survivors are encouraged to open up about their experiences with sexual violence, recovery, and empowerment.

Lambda Alpha Theta and their partner philanthropy, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, will be hosting the 28th annual Take Back the Night march next Wednesday, April 10 at 6 p.m. on the Old Main Lawn.

On Thursday, April 11, Penn State’s Men Against Violence will don their sexiest high heels for the annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event in an effort to stop rape, sexual assault, and gender violence. The walk will start at noon on the steps of the Boucke building, right across from the HUB.

Also on Thursday, April 11, there will be a screening of the documentary “Boys and Men Healing” at 7 p.m. in 111 Wartik, followed by a discussion led by the executive director of 1 in 6.

On Friday, April 12, One Heart and a few other student-run orgs will be participating in “Rock Against Rape,” which will be held downtown on Heister Street from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will consist of a few different musical artists and notable speakers. It’s a Battle of the Bands concert that will benefit the Centre County Women’s Resource Center and 1 in 6, where the band that raises the most funds wins. There will also be campus and community organizations booths to provide resources to the Centre County community.

And finally, on Monday, April 15, there will be a consent panel and discussion group at 6 p.m. in 129 HUB to talk about the intricacies of sexual assault, sexual violence, and consent.

It’s the last month of classes and you’re probably trying to avoid all of the end-of-the-semester papers and group projects on your to-do list, so instead of spending your time watching every season of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix, you should get out and join the fight against sexual assault. You’ll be helping an incredible cause.

Photo By: Katie Quinn
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About Author

Alicia Thomas

Alicia is a senior with majors in Print Journalism and Spanish and a minor in International Studies. Chances are that she's somewhere talking about her semester abroad or ranting about sexual assault prevention right now. She can be reached via Twitter (@aliciarthomas) or email ([email protected]).

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