By Kelly Marmo
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the Women’s Center has several tips, information and events to educate students and faculty on their main goal this year: prevention.
The Women’s Center has had some events planned for the month of April, including Take Back the Night on April 12. This was a rally to support and honor sexual violence survivors. This event was open to everyone and gives people the chance to speak out or show support by standing in solidarity with survivors.
“One of the best ways to prevent sexual assault is for students to look out for one another,” said Charlotte Muriel, Director of the Women’s Center. “An active bystander, or an up-stander can make all the difference if they take care of someone who looks too drunk to consent to anything, or if they step in when a situation doesn’t seem right.”
Another event planned is the Clothesline Project which will continue until April 20 in the Assaf courtyard. This event displays artwork through t-shirts. Throughout this week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., anyone can make a t-shirt as a reflection of their own experience, in honor of a loved one, or in solidarity with other sexual assault survivors.
“Today in the DeHoernle Lecture Hall at 6:30 p.m., Lynn student Faith Thomas will be showing the short film that she created as part of a class project about her experience as a survivor of sexual assault,” said Muriel. “Following the film will be a Q & A and a discussion on how to support survivors.”
Muriel encourages students to go to the Confidential Student Advocate in the Women’s Center or the Counseling Center if a person or someone they know is in an unhealthy relationship, or looking for advice.
“The Lynn community is a family, and we should take care of each other like one,” said Muriel. “Another great way to prevent sexual assault is to educate yourself and your friends about what consent really means.”
An average of one in five women and one in 16 men experience sexual assault during their time in college. The Women’s Center provides a weekly discussion group, Feminist Fridays, where topics such as women’s issues and feminism are discussed.
“Though these topics might not always seem to pertain directly to sexual assault, we are trying to get students talking more openly about topics like street harassment, gender in the classroom and women in art,” said Muriel. “These issues all relate back to gender inequality and gender-based violence.”
The Women’s Center will be holding several events through the end of this month and take part in other events throughout the year that all students and faculty can be a part of. For more information on ways to learn about prevention, contact the Women’s Center at (561)-237-7955 or the Counseling Center at (561)-237-7237.
“Everyone should care about ending sexual violence because sexual assault is a community issue,” said Muriel. “It is affecting all of us whether we realize it or not, so we need everyone, men included, to be a part of the solution.”