Sexual Assault Awareness month begins
March 26, 2009
April is officially recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The month is dedicated to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities how to prevent sexual assault.
Communities around the country dedicate several different kinds of events to sexual assault awareness in April. At UW-River Falls, Take Back the Night is the event that is put on every year to promote sexual assault awareness.
Take Back the Night is a nationally recognized event that inspires both women and men to confront a myriad of social ills, including rape, sexual violence, domestic violence, violence against children and violence against women. The event is also designed to empower those who have been impacted by sexual violence, to take back the night!
This year will be the 13th annual Take Back the Night at UWRF. The focus of the event is sexual violence against women (rape and sexual assault).
The event is being funded and sponsored by the Student Senate, with the subcommittee Diversity Women’s Initiatives Committee (DWIC) being in charge of the planning. The student group Rise Up for Women’s Rights, and the Sexual Assault Victims Services Coordinator from Turningpoint (local domestic and sexual violence shelter) are helping DWIC plan the event.
This year the event will be held on Wednesday, April 1, in Pete’s Creek on the bottom floor in the University Center. The space is located right outside the cafeteria, at the bottom of the stairs. The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be food and refreshments provided and the event is free!
In progression, a local band, will kick off the event with music. The band will be selling their latest CD “Down the Rabbit Hole” at the event. All proceeds made from sales of the CD will be donated to Turningpoint.
The keynote speakers will speak about sexual violence, and a survivor of sexual assault will share her story. The event will end with a candlelight vigil held outside.
Throughout the event, people are encouraged to make a shirt for the clothesline project.
The Clothesline Project (CLP) is a program started on Cape Cod, Mass. in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women.
The shirts will be hung on clothesline around the University Center. Attending Take Back the Night is a great way to kick off Sexual Assault Awareness month. Good band. Good people. Good cause.
Tracey Pollock is an alumna of UW-River Falls.