The month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. To help recognize and celebrate survivors, the Student Advocacy and Wellness Center (SAWC) of Wright State University curated a weeklong series of special events to raise awareness to this urgent issue.
From April 1-4, the SAWC put together various activities and exhibitions to educate, raise awareness and put students in contact with helpful resources.
“It was an idea I had since my time working at a family violence prevention center as a graduate student. We wanted to make sure we could meet students and highlight the resources that are available to them if they need to speak to someone,” said Corrie Pleska, Wright State’s student advocate.
Starting off with the theme of busting common myths about rape and assault, a powerful exhibit called “What Were You Wearing?”, provided by ProjectWoman, featured real clothes worn by survivors during their assault and was displayed in the Pathfinder Lounge throughout the week.
The Clothesline Project was also featured throughout the week in the Student Union which encouraged students to decorate t-shirts with their issues surrounding sexual assault as well as messages of love and encouragement to survivors.
For Tuesday, a special screening was held of the documentary “I Am Evidence”, which investigated the issue of how sexual assault cases are mishandled by police departments around the country.
Wednesday’s events included a Sex Fair in the Millet Atrium where students could get information about safe sex and STD testing.
Thursday’s event called “Take Back The Night”, featured a march around campus as well as guest speakers and special performances.
Students could meet with representatives of various local organizations such as ProjectWoman, the YWCA of Dayton and the Family Violence Prevention Center of Greene County.
The evening concluded at W.O. Wrights Grill & Pub with a “Take Back the Pub” event that featured games and special prizes.
Pleska has more plans in the works to bring awareness and change to urgent issues that are often silenced, especially among students.
“We are planning to make this a yearly event and definitely have some plans for October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness month,” said Pleska.
For Wright State students, events like these are a sign that no matter the difficulty of an issue, whether it is sexual assault or other forms of power-based violence, there are resources and people that are always available to listen and help.
Students can contact Corrie Pleska on her 24-hour on-call number, (937)-775-2727 or at [email protected] Her office is located at 022 in the Student Union. She also has a support group that currently meets every Tuesday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Pioneer Room.