April 6, 2009

VSU Hosts Events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

During the month of April - Sexual Assault Awareness Month - VSU is hosting a number of events to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate the campus about how to prevent the fastest growing, yet most underreported violent crime in the United States.

Informational Booths - April 7
Information about sexual assault awareness will be available at booths set up from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, at Crane Plaza on north campus, the education center lobby, palms quad, and the University Center lobby. Event sponsors include the VSU Women’s Gender Studies Program, VSU Counseling Center, and VSU peer education program, Knowledge, Awareness, Respect, Maturity, & Achievement (KARMA).

VSU Greek Step Show - April 8
The VSU Greek Community is raising money and awareness for National Sexual Assault Awareness Day during the VSU Greek Step Show. The show is at 7 p.m. in the P.E. Complex.

R.A.D. Classes -April 13, 15, 20 and 22
The Office of Health Promotions invites faculty, staff and students to participate in a free 12-hour Rape, Aggression, Defense course from 6-9 p.m. April 13, 15, 20 and 22 in the VSU Police training room in the Oak Street Parking Deck. The public is also encouraged to participate in the four-part RAD class, but a $5 fee is required to cover material costs. To register, call Health Promotions at (229) 245-3896 or go online at

Vagina Monologues - April 17-19

VSU Women’s and Gender Studies Program is sponsoring performances of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” at 7 p.m. April 17-18 and at 2 p.m. April 19 in the Hugh C. Bailey Science Center Auditorium, room 1011. The award-winning episodic play, based on 200 interviews Ensler conducted with women about sex, relationships and violence, has grown throughout the world to become the premiere event associated with V-Day - a global non-profit movement established in 1998 to stop violence against women and girls. Nearly 4,000 V-Day benefit events, such as VSU V-Day 2009, are being held between Feb. 1 and March 31 to raise money for shelters, crisis centers and educators working to end sexual and physical violence against women.

Tickets to each performance, which costs $10 for general admission and $5 for students, may be purchased in advance at the Women’s and Gender Studies Program office in Carswell Hall, 1526 N. Oak St., and at the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice in University Center room 1140. Tickets may also be purchased at the door the night of the event, but since performances have sold out in the past, organizers encourage people to purchase tickets in advance.

For more information, call the Women’s and Gender Studies Program office at (229) 249-4842.

Take Back the Night - April 23

Join the VSU community during Take Back the Night - an internationally held march and candlelight vigil to protest rape and other forms of sexual violence - at 7 p.m. on April 23. The night will begin in front of West Hall with a video about how sexual violence impacted one woman’s life. The crowd will then walk down the pedestrian mall to the entrance of the Hugh C. Bailey Science Center, where a survivor will talk about her experiences with sexual violence. The march will then journey to Palms Quad, where they will listen to tribute songs honoring those who have experienced sexual assault.

VSU’s Sexual Assault Committee - comprised of various campus and community members, agencies and departments - is sponsoring the event, which first started at VSU in 2006. VSU Counselor Leah McMillan, LMFT, said sexual assault is one of the most common violent crimes that occur on college campuses; it is a crime committed by friends as well as strangers that doesn’t discriminate on the basis of gender, race, time of day or location.

“Rape is not about sex, but about power and control. Regardless of the situation, when a person says ‘no’ it means ‘no,’ and the continued force becomes sexual assault,” said McMillan, who is chair of the Sexual Assault Committee. “To stop sexual violence, we must become part of the solution, not the problem. Together as a scholastic community, we can ‘Strike out Sexual Assault’ on our campus and across the world.”

Go to the Take Back the Night Web site at www.takebackthenight.org/ for more information about the movement, or call the VSU Counseling Center at (229) 333-5940.

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