Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted, according to a finding by the Abuse and Incest National Network.
College students are among those most affected –especially new students.
Sexual assault influences college students more than any other population, according to Junior Joey Liberman, a wellness peer educator and president of the Coalition Against Sexual and Interpersonal Violence (CASIV).
“It is definitely our problem to figure out,” Liberman said.
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus is doing exactly that this month, which began with a trivia night April 3 in the Old Main Ballroom of the University Center to increase awareness and educate students about the realities of sexual assault through Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Students came to the event with teams to answer questions and enter drawings for prizes while learning more about sexual assault and where to go to seek help.
“I heard about this from the IMPACT organization,” freshman Cordelia Regenold said. “It’s important to get information on taboo topics like this.”
University Health Counseling Services wellness educator Erica Fischer said her focus was to raise awareness about sexual assault.
“It affects everyone. Every gender, every race, age, sexuality, but it is definitely a higher prevalence around the college age,” Fischer said.”
The rate of sexual assault has dropped 63 percent since 1963, according to the Abuse and Incest National Network. In order for this rate to continue its decline, it is important for the UW-Whitewater campus as a whole to participate in events taking place this month.
On April 11 and April 18, various campus organizations will host discussions about sexual assault. These events will take place from 12:30-1:15 at Fern Terrace. Students can RSVP at my.uww.edu/signup.
A T-shirt dye will be held April 17 on the mall outside the UC. Denim day shirts will be provided to the first 100 student participants.
Denim day will take place April 25 and all participants are encouraged to wear denim and their tie dye shirt to show their support for survivors.
All of these events lead up to the annual CASIV event Take Back the Night, which will take place at 7 p.m. on April 26 in Esker Hall Room 119. Survivors and allies are invited to a campus walk followed by story sharing and s’mores.
Along with the events taking place this month, there are year-round ways to seek help and show support. Victim/survivor advocates are available in the Ambrose Health Center on Tuesdays from 8 to 1 a.m. and Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m.
UCHS provides free services to UW-W students. During the academic year, a professional advocate is available to discuss concerns about dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. To make an appointment or to find out more call 472-1305. For any further questions email [email protected].