Sexual Assault Month filled with student support

By Alex Kerravala, Staff Writer

With April being sexual assault awareness month, the Center for Women, Gender, and sexuality have been active in keeping this campus filled with activities relevant to the month. Aside from frequent tabling to remind the campus of this important issue, one such event was a film screening on April 11 in the Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality. 

The previously mentioned film was a part of a PBS series titled “#Metoo, Now What?” dealing with the importance of the #Metoo movement and what there is left to do following this movement in regards to sexual assault awareness. This film in particular focuses on patriarchy, the intersectionality of oppression, and how all types of oppression, such as sexual harassment at the workplace, and even tipping, are all related.  

Along with this, there was a short video about Tanara Burke, the activist who kicked off the #Metoo movement. 

Overall, the screening was a complete success. Much like every other event the Center for WGS has put on for the Sexual Assault Awareness Month, student turnout has been surprisingly high, with roughly 40 people showing up to the film screening.  

A special thanks goes to the teachers that made attending extra credit, as it helps some nervous students before finals and educates a good number of students on what is most important for college age kids.  

Of course, this is sexual assault month, and the WGS Center is not finished yet. The week of the 16-20 is Male Assault Survivors Week, with Male Survivors tabling on the 18 to provide support to male survivors of sexual assault, as well as a film screening on The Bristlecone Project, a combined effort of male sexual assault victims telling their stories.  

And, finally, there is the largest activity in this month on April 25, Denim Day, a day in which doing something as simple as wearing jeans can help bring awareness to sexual assault.  

Denim day brings attention to an Italian court case in 1998, when the Italian supreme court overturned a rape conviction simply because the victim was wearing tight jeans at the time. The Center for WGS will be handing out buttons with denim on them, as well as Anti-sexual assault messages written on them.  

Commitment and involvement has been exceptional for Sexual Assault Awareness month this year. With the Center for WGS giving away sweatshirts while tabling and giving advice for what to do as a bystander, this campus is becoming much smarter, and hopefully by extension much safer, all thanks to the work of the Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality.  

In addition, Jessica Harris within the center is the only confidential staff member on campus. If you have any experiences you need to talk about regarding sexual assault, you can reach her at jessica.harris@umassd.edu or she can be found in the Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality in the Campus Center.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.