Sexual assault workshops promote student awareness

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men will be sexually assaulted while in college. More than 90 percent of sexual assault victims on college campuses don’t report the assault and 8 out of 10 times, the victim knew the person who sexually assaulted him or her.

This is why during the month of April, Sonoma State University will be having many events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Events include the Clothesline Project, a self-defense class, Denim Day and Take Back the Night.

It all began in 1978 in San Francisco and New York City. The two locations were the first cities in the United States to hold protests fighting the violence and sexual assault against women. These protests were called Take Back the Night marches. The purpose of these protests were to demand that at night the streets should be safe enough for women to walk through without any fear of being sexually assaulted or encountering any violence.

The Clothesline Project, displayed in front of Salazar on Tuesday and Wednesday, helped to bring awareness to the issue of violence against women. The event featured t-shirtshonoring and supporting victims of sexual violence. Shirts and supplies were provided for students to decorate and then hung up on a clothesline display to educate, support and raise awareness for sexual assault.

Other events are also planned for the month to help elevate student awareness. On April 12 from noon to 3 p.m., a self-defense class titled Moving from Fear to Empowerment will be held in the Rec Center. Participants will learn how to assess potentially unsafe situations, recognize the signs of escalation and get to practice self-defense techniques. The defense lessons are geared to put an end to harassment, intimidation and violence through verbal, physical and emotional strategies and techniques. These include boundary setting scenarios, conflict resolution exercises, role-play scenarios and physical techniques.

Sonoma State will be holding its own Take Back the Night on April 26 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Student Center. The event will break the silence around sexual assault, domestic violence and rape culture through storytelling, support and empowerment.

April 26 is also Denim Day,  where jeans symbolize protest against the negative and destructive attitudes surrounding sexual assault. Those participating can stop by Seawolf Plaza and receive a Denim Day sticker as well as resources for more information and support.

Other events include the One Love Relationship Violence Escalation workshop on April 11 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Helping Survivors Thrive after Sexual Violation workshop on April 18 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sexual Violation and the Hero’s Journey talk also on April 18 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Those events will be held in the Student Center ballrooms, but students can find more information during tabling in Seawolf Plaza.

Anyone interestested in helping in the fight against sexual assault can join Alpha Delta Pi at their event on Sunday, April 23 from 11 a.m. to noon. They are hoping to partner with students to start a conversation and devise a solution to end sexual assault.

For a complete list of events, times and location visit http://www.sonoma.edu/newscenter/2017/03/sexual-assault-awareness-month. For more information on the self-defense class go to http://handtohandkajukenbo.com/.