A-State Hosts Events to Raise Attention to Sexual Assault Awareness Month

JONESBORO – Arkansas State University is hosting a series of events in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).

An exhibit is currently underway at the A-State Museum called “What They were Wearing,” which features recreated outfits and true stories of local sexual assault victims. Coordinators say this presentation will help challenge victim blaming by showcasing typical attire worn by sexual assault victims.

“This exhibit is designed to break the stigma of sexual assault by asking survivors ‘what they were wearing’ when they were violated. Sexual assault is never the fault of the survivor. This visual exhibit works to break down the cycle of rape culture and promote support for victims,” said Perdeta Bush, director of the Office of Title IX and Institutional Equity.

This exhibit can be seen Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. It is presented in collaboration with the NEA Family Crisis Center and will run through the end of April.

A documentary screening and lunch and learn will be held Tuesday, April 18, at 12:30 p.m. The documentary “Nameless” will be shown in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, room 1028.

The lunch and learn is hosted by the Office of Title IX and Institutional Equity. Human trafficking survivor, Amanda Pulley, will share her story as well as insights including how to identify and prevent victimization. She will highlight the impact on vulnerable at-risk youth and college-aged students.

Megan Brown, co-founder of Hope Found NEA, will have information on human trafficking as well as the local organization she represents, which helps raise awareness in Jonesboro and surrounding communities.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes will be held on Monday, April 24, beginning at 6:45 p.m. at the front doors of the A-State Dean B. Ellis Library. Men at A-State are encouraged to walk in high-heeled shoes as an act of support and solidarity to defy gender stereotypes and expectations. A limited number of shoes will be available.

Non-heel-wearing walkers are also welcome to join. One goal of the event is to allow those both on campus and in the community, to take a stand against sexual violence. Every person who participates is another link in the chain of solidarity with victims.

Participants will walk a path lined with national and local sexual assault statistics and white flags that represent a percentage of the number of Americans sexually assaulted each year.

“There are over 463,000 rape victims in America each year. These white flags represent approximately 1% of those victimized,” said Bush.

The walk will continue with a candlelight vigil that will begin at 7 p.m. at Heritage Plaza to honor those impacted by sexual assault and domestic violence. Everyone is invited to participate.

The last event for SAAM is Denim Day. A quilt made of denim jeans can be found in the Reng Student Union. Throughout the month, one may write their own story and place the note in one of the pockets on the quilt.

The anonymous submissions will be read aloud as an act of solidarity on Wednesday, April 26, at 1:30 p.m. The quilt was made by the Department of Art + Design and Human Resources.

Events for SAAM are sponsored by the Sexual Assault Awareness Planning Committee.

Press Release

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