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Sexual assault awareness month at SNC

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Sexual assault awareness month at SNC

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Every year during the month of April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month is hosted by schools and organizations around the country, teaching individuals to understand what sexual awareness signifies, as well as instructing others to fully grasp the concepts of sexual assault.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center is the founding organization for SAAM, and openly encourages people around the country to get involved in recognizing this worldwide issue.

Sierra Nevada College advocates for SAAM and is partnering with Tahoe SAFE Alliance in hosting various events throughout April, to signify the importance of being aware of sexual assault.

“College students are disproportionately affected by sexual assault,” said Tahoe SAFE Alliance Residential Program Manager Danielle Segal. “College students should know the signs and have the education to know when to say or do something before sexual assault happens.”

According to Rainn.org, a partnering organization to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 23.1 percent of female undergraduate students experience some form of sexual assault, including rape, physical force, violence, or incapacitation. For males it is 5.4 percent.

Tahoe SAFE Alliance, a non-profit organization in the Tahoe community, promotes the philosophy that every person has the right to live a life free of violence.

“We hope through spreading awareness that one day our organization will not be needed in the Tahoe/Truckee region whatsoever,” Segal said.

In hopes of combatting sexual awareness and reaching the goal of eliminating sexual assault in the Tahoe area entirely, SNC and Tahoe SAFE Alliance have been working together for years on spreading awareness on sexual assault, offering creative events for students to get involved.

“The prevention team at Tahoe SAFE Alliance gives a Title IX training every year to incoming freshman. This training class goes over consent and what to do if you or a friend have been sexually assaulted,” Segal said. “The prevention team also does a yearly RA training and at times will give a personal safety and empowerment training on campus.”

Aside from prevention team training, SNC and Tahoe SAFE Alliance are working together to bring more public recognition to this national issue by hosting events for students and faculty throughout April.

“We have a number of events that students will enjoy, and it’s a great way to bring people together to share their stories and have support,” said Director of Student Affairs and Housing, Title IX Victim Advocate Lizzie Thibodeau. “This topic is very sensitive, and many people can feel very alone. Bringing awareness to this subject will hopefully show our students the support we can give and resources to not feel so alone.”

The first event being held is the “Deck Out Your Denim” Day on April 15 at SNC’s campus. Students are encouraged to bring any denim they have and bedazzle, sew, embellish, and iron on materials to their denim products. “Deck Out Your Denim” leads to a corresponding event being held on April 24, “Denim Day.”

Denim Day will influence students to wear their best denim outfit and use the hashtag, #TahoeDenimDay. Each person that uses this hashtag is entered in to a raffle.

“The Denim Day Campaign began 20 years ago after an Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the survivor was wearing tight jeans, therefore she herself must have helped remove her own jeans and thus, gave consent,” Segal said. “By wearing denim on April 24, we protest against the ‘misconceptions that surround sexual assault and sexual violence.’”

Take Back the Night Walk and Pop Up Art Show will be held April 25, bringing together more than 800 communities and to march to raise awareness.

“We will start our walk at IV Coffee Lab and end in Holman Arts & Media building,” Thibodeau said. “We are encouraging an open-mic night and spoken word volunteers to read in support of this event.”

Alongside the events being hosted with SNC, Tahoe SAFE Alliance is also holding tabling events on several different dates for the public.

Students are strongly encouraged to get involved with the events that are being held throughout April.

“Students can get involved by showing up. Spreading the word. Making Art. We hope students and faculty will attend at least one event on campus during the month of April,” Segal said. “We also hope throughout the month and beyond April, students and faculty will engage in conversations surrounding sexual assault and how to prevent it on and off campus.”

“If students want to gain more knowledge on sexual assault and awareness, I encourage them to reach out to Tahoe SAFE Alliance, they provide Crisis Intervention Training, educating people on how to deal with hard topics and become a resource to struggling individuals,” said Thibodeau.

Tahoe SAFE Alliance has a 24/7 helpline for individuals who are struggling with sexual assault.

Reach the hotline at 1-800-736-1060, or by email at [email protected]

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Sexual assault awareness month at SNC