March 23, 2016
Wesleyan to Host 2016 Sexual Assault Awareness Month and WV Day-of-Action
Seventeen college campuses, including West Virginia Wesleyan College, and nine rape crisis centers in West Virginia will join together on April 5 to host a pledge event between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Benedum Campus Center Plaza to take a stand against sexual assault.
The West Virginia Intercollegiate Council Against Sexual Assault in conjunction with Wesleyan’s Health and Counseling Center, will host the social media pledge event using the “It’s On Us” Campaign. Participants can join the Facebook event page, 2016 SAAM WV Day-of-Action. The goal is to reach as many people as possible on college campuses, have them complete the “It’s On Us…to stop sexual assault” pledge on www.itsonus.org and take a photo and upload it social media using the hashtags #ItsOnUs and #ItsOnUsWV.
The “It’s On Us” pledge is to recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault; to identify situations in which sexual assault may occur; to intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given; and to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported. The Campaign is a national initiative that seeks to engage college students and members of campus communities to make a personal commitment to take a stand and be a part of the solution to campus sexual assault.
According to Lori Thompson, director of counseling services at Wesleyan, the Day-of-Action is important and gives the community a way to help combat the sexual assault stigmas.
“Sexual assault is an important issue that we believe should be addressed consistently and continually,” she stated. “This event compliments a series of programs that we provide throughout the year on this topic, as well as others. We are looking forward to being a part of an effort to increase awareness and campus safety on college campuses across West Virginia.”
Stemming from the efforts of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, “It’s on Us” aims to fundamentally shift the way about how sexual assault is thought. The campaign seeks to inspire everyone to see it as his or her responsibility to do something, big or small, to prevent sexual violence. “It’s On Us” is committed to creating an environment where sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.
Nikki Godfrey from the WV Foundation for Rape Information and Services, the state’s sexual assault coalition, has worked with the Intercollegiate Council Against Sexual Assault for the past several years. She stated, “Through this collaboration, residential campuses in West Virginia have worked together to increase training for first responders, implement prevention programs on campuses, and provide a more victim-centered approach. Attaining a college education should never include becoming a victim of sexual assault. This day-of-action allows students, faculty, administrators and advocates to raise awareness and show their support in promoting safer campus environments. Prevention is everyone’s responsibility, and together, we can make a difference.”
For more information on this event and other events hosted by the Health and Counseling Center, please contact Director Lori Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (304) 473-8100.
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