April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Washington State University Pullman is recognizing the month with a collection of events designed to lift consciousness of sexual violence.
According to a 2019 survey of practically 182,000 college students from the Association of American Universities (AAU), 13% of scholars have skilled nonconsensual sexual contact, with greater charges for women-identifying college students and trans and gender nonconforming/non-binary college students (25.9% and 22.8%, respectively). A 2021 paper on the impression of sexual assault on tutorial outcomes discovered that college students who expertise sexual assault usually tend to drop out of college, have decrease GPAs, and expertise psychological well being challenges.
The research additionally discovered that prevention applications, education, and consciousness events like Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) may also help lower charges of sexual violence on campus by educating neighborhood members concerning the impression of sexual assault, the function everybody performs in stopping it, and tips on how to higher assist survivors.
“Sexual Assault Awareness Month raises awareness so people can learn about how they can support survivors in their own community and how they can contribute to a bigger social and cultural change to stop violence from happening,” mentioned Taylor Ellsworth, a well being education specialist with Health Promotion.
Education and activism
This yr’s SAAM events are being coordinated by Health Promotion, the Women*s Center, CAMP, and different companions round campus. They kicked off March 22 with the Bandana Project, organized at WSU by the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) in collaboration with MEChA and The Crimson Group. The venture asks folks to embellish white bandanas with artwork and phrases of encouragement for girls farmworkers who’ve skilled sexual assault. The adorned bandanas shall be displayed within the CUB all through the month of April.
“Many women who are harassed don’t say anything because they’re afraid to get in trouble with immigration or lose their jobs,” mentioned Maritay Mendoza-Quiroz, CAMP coordinator. “With this project, we wanted to show support to women in the fields who are being harassed, to create awareness and show that community that we’re here for them.”
Other events in the course of the month that can happen are a useful resource truthful April 4 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Terrell Mall, intercourse and consent workshops on April 7, Take Back the Night on April 14, and Denim Day on April 27.
Faculty and workers are invited to become involved in a number of of the events, together with a free public screening of The Hunting Ground, a 2015 documentary about sexual assault on faculty campuses, and academic workshops from Health Promotion. The Count on Cougs Bystander Intervention workshop on April 22 will train contributors to acknowledge warning indicators of gender-based violence and methods to take motion, and the Supporting Survivors workshop on April 29 will assist contributors perceive how they’ll assist college students and colleagues who’re survivors of sexual violence.
For an entire checklist of events, go to the SAAM webpage.
‘All of us have a role’
Research exhibits that education and prevention applications like these supplied throughout SAAM can change attitudes about sexual assault and increase college students’ perception within the significance of intervention. Giving folks instruments they’ll use to stop sexual violence and assist survivors all year long is essential to empowering college students, college, and workers to create cultural change on campus.
“All of us have a role in preventing sexual violence, and knowing that we are all responsible for stopping this problem can help us make actionable changes in our spaces,” Ellsworth mentioned.
Some of these actionable modifications embrace getting educated about violence prevention and survivor assist, displaying sources in outstanding areas to make them extra accessible, and, for college and workers, reviewing their reporting necessities and guaranteeing they know what, when, and tips on how to report incidents of sexual assault.
Ultimately, Ellsworth mentioned, the objective is to empower folks to “hold their community accountable for problematic behaviors and be advocates for survivors in their own circles.”
For extra info on SAAM and sources, go to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
If you or somebody you already know has skilled sexual assault and want assist, please contact Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse. You can even go to the Civil Rights and Compliance web site for info on advocacy, assist, and reporting.