UConn’s Violence Against Women Prevention Program (VAWPP) will be hosting a variety of events in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month which is nationally recognized in April, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
To raise awareness and advocate for victims of sexual violence, the Women’s Center’s VAWPP is hosting Catcalls of UConn from March 19 to April 10, a social media and chalking project to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of catcalling, according to Lauren Donais, VAWPP Program Coordinator.
The VAWPP is also hosting The Price of Brotherhood: Uncovering the True Cost of Media’s Obsession with Traditional Masculinity on Tuesday, April 3 from 7-8 p.m. in the Konover Auditorium. Duane de Four, educator, media critic, and activist will be discussing masculinity in the media and its role in restricting male behavior and supporting rape culture, according to a VAWPP flyer.
National Sexual Assault Awareness Month began in the 1970’s, where women began “Take Back the Night Protests” against sexual violence in England and eventually the United States, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
Although National Sexual Assault Awareness month has been recognized nationally since 2001, a proclamation was officially issued to make April National Sexual Assault Awareness Month by President Trump on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, according to CNN.
In accordance with national “Take Back the Night” protests, VAWPP will be hosting a Take Back the Night March on Wednesday, April 11 from 7-10 p.m in the Student Union Ballroom. The event will include a solidarity march, speak out and late night coffee house. The event will act as a movement for empowerment and healing for survivors of gender based violence, according to the VAWPP flyer.
The VAWPP will also be hosting UConn Denim Day on Wednesday, April 25 where students are asked to wear jeans as a symbol of protest against destructive attitudes about sexual violence. From 10-2 p.m. on Fairfield Way, VAWPP will be hosting prevention activities where students can win prizes, according to Donais.
UConn Denim Day is part of a national campaign from a 1992 court decision which overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans, which the courts stated implied consent, according to the VAWPP flyer.
Rape is the most common violent crime on American college campuses, according to UConn’s Women’s Center website. Women between the age of 18-24 are three times more likely to experience sexual violence and 21 percent of college transgender students have been sexually assaulted, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.
“Victims/survivors of violence are more likely to suffer academically, to experience depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, to abuse alcohol and drugs and to contemplate suicide,” according to the Women’s Center website.
The University of Connecticut provides resources to victims of sexual violence through Counseling and Mental Health Services, according to the CMHS website. CMHS also provides a support and discussion group called STRONGER for victims of sexual violence, dating violence, and/or stalking. The support group is confidential and open to both undergraduate and graduate students, according to the CMHS website. Confidential reporting is also available through CMHS and SHS.
For more information, visit the UConn Women’s Center website at https://womenscenter.uconn.edu/.
Kristina Carretero is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.