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Penn State Aims To Raise Awareness With Sexual Violence Prevention Events

April marks National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Penn State is participating by hosting events, galleries, and speakers to educate the community on sexual assault and preventing sexual violence.

The keynote event will be actress Mira Sorvino speaking about the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct allegations and the #MeToo movement. The Oscar-winning actress is also a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Against Human Trafficking.

The month of programs is planned and sponsored by the Gender Equity Center, Centre Safe, Men Against Violence, and other sponsors. Many of the events also coincide with UPUA’s Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Week.

April 8 – Honoring Survival: Transforming The Spirit

This event will honor the strength of survivors of interpersonal violence and their families. It provides a space to show support and reflect on others experiences as well as our own. Attendees will hear music, poetry, and survivor stories at 6:30 p.m. Monday in Memorial Lounge of Pasquerilla Spiritual Center. This is the first event of UPUA’s Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Week.

April 9 – What Were You Wearing? Survivor Art Installation

Taking inspiration from Mary Simmerling’s poem “What I Was Wearing,” the installation began at the University of Arkansas in 2013. This annual art display shows various outfits that survivors were wearing when they were sexually assaulted, proving that sexual assault and clothing cannot be linked, thereby discrediting victim blaming. You can visit the installation from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday in 134 HUB.

April 10 – Men Against Violence Walk

The Gender Equity Center’s Men Against Violence group invites all Penn State community members to participate in its fifth annual walk. The walk not only spreads awareness for survivors, but also hopes to lead by example and change the culture surrounding sexual assault on college campuses. Participants can register here, and meet in the HUB Flex Theater at noon Wednesday for a speech before the walk begins.

April 10 – Mira Sorvino: #MeToo: From Weinstein to Worldwide Advocacy

Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino is the keynote event of the month, speaking about her experience with sexual assault in Hollywood and the #MeToo movement. Sorvino was one of the first women to speak up about her experiences with Harvey Weinstein, which led to even more women coming forward. Sorvino will speak at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Alumni Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

April 10-11 – Navigating How You Step In

Participants can navigate through a life-sized maze and learn their own intervention style after reflecting on different scenarios of sexual assault and violence. Community members can experience the maze from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday on the first floor of the HUB.

April 11 – The Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Gala

Hosted by UPUA and Lion Ambassadors, the gala benefits Centre Safe, a women’s resource center that empowers survivors and aims to eliminate violence. Dress is formal and a donation of $5 for students will be requested at the door. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at The Atherton Hotel. Students can register here.

April 17 – Stand for State Student Program: Interrupting Sexual and Relationship Violence

This program aims to educate students on red flags, interrupting harmful behavior, and barriers to stepping in. It also encourages students to brainstorm ways to create a safer campus. Interested students can register here to attend Wednesday, April 17 at 6 p.m. in 131 HUB.

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About the Author

Cassady Potts

Cassady is a junior English and journalism major and Onward State's Student Life Editor. She is from York, Pennsylvania and loves iced coffee, books, and women's volleyball. You can find her on campus by looking for the girl who always wears stripes. Feel free to send any questions, comments, or memes via email ( and follow her @cassady_potts on Twitter.

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