April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and every day we read more and more about the events and activities going on all throughout the country. It’s empowering to see so many people getting involved to speak out against domestic violence – and hopefully some of these events will inspire you to share your voice as well.
- The Clothesline Project, an effort supported by Verizon Wireless, is happening in towns all across the country. Those affected by violence decorate a t-shirt with personal stories and messages, and then these are all hung on a clothesline for others to view. Many towns and organizations are taking part, including Voices Against Violence at Plymouth State University, Shippensburg University and Rhode Island College.
- The Orange County Rape Crisis Center in North Carolina is painting the town teal with events ranging from a “Gratitude Gala” to celebrate volunteers and supporters, to a “Healing Trauma With Yoga” workshop.
- Many have organized “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” events in which men walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes as a way to get the community to talk about gender relations and sexual violence – in San Luis Obispo County, University Park, the University at Buffalo, and more.
- Colorado State University’s Women and Gender Advocacy Center is hosting events and talks all through the month, such as the “But I’m a Nice Guy!” workshop to explore ways men can be agents of change and confront sexual violence.
- Minnesota State Mankato Women’s Center is hosting various events in April, including a trivia night to test people’s knowledge related to women’s history and women’s accomplishments.
- At Palo Alto High School a student-run publication called Verde Magazine dedicated their entire April issue to rape awareness, including interviews with two students about their own experiences with sexual assault.
- In Salt Lake City and countless other places in the country, people joined together for Slut Walks to speak out against sexual violence and victim blaming (i.e. the idea that victims invited an attack because of what they were wearing).
- One Penn State student bravely shared her personal story in order to “put a name and a face next to those statistics and the horrors that Sexual Assault Awareness Month is attempting to fight.”
- Soldiers assigned to the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command were taught about bystander initiatives and what they can do to prevent sexual assault.
- Hampshire College hosted a program about sexual assault in the military, with author Helen Benedict.
- Towns like Fort Morgan, CO, have organized Take Back The Night events, which are gatherings/walks where victims and advocates join together to “take back their voices” by sharing stories and speaking out against sexual violence.
- The Oklahoma City Barons hockey team is donating a portion of its April ticket sales to sexual assault prevention programs, and is wearing teal ribbons on their helmets to promote awareness.
These are just a few of the amazing events that are taking place during April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We’d love to hear what you or your community is doing – let us know in the comment section.