One in five college females and one in sixteen college males are sexually assaulted during their time at college, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC).
According to the NSVRC, sexual violence or assault is any type of unwanted sexual contact. This does include any words or other actions of sexual nature of which a person does not give consent.
Some of these types can include rape or sexual assault, sexual assault by a person’s spouse or partner, unwanted sexual contact or touching, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, trafficking, exposing someone’s genitals or naked body without that person’s consent and nonconsensual image sharing.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. NSVRC’s goal during April 2022 is “Building Safe Online Spaces Together.” This is to help practice digital consent, intervene when someone sees harmful content and behaviors and to help promote communities that value respect, inclusion and safety.
NSVRC is also holding a 30-day challenge to help promote awareness for sexual violence. There is a new challenge every day and even a chance to win prizes. For more information, go to www.nsrvc.org/saam.
According to Caitlyn Miler, Title IX officer, the goal for Sexual Assault Awareness month is to provide education and outreach to the Kirkwood Community College students. Kirkwood is planning to do a sidewalk chalk campaign throughout campus to help direct students to Kirkwood’s violence prevention website (www.kirkwood.edu/violenceprevention) and to raise awareness that April is Sexual Assault Awareness month.
Kirkwood is holding a Tune-up Tuesday on April 12. This Tune-up Tuesday will encompass how to support a friend who may have been impacted by sexual assault. Kirkwood students can join this at https://zoom.us/j/94800072873?pwd=QWdaZzl4bmlLaXFTYldNOS9keGFadz09.
Kirkwood students can also visit www.kirkwood.edu/violenceprevention for more events that Kirkwood is hosting to help spread sexual assault awareness. Miller said she also helps coordinate a Mentors in Violence Prevention workshop that encompasses being a leader both on and off campus related to gender violence.
In this group, students discuss what is means to be a bystander in different situations. This group also helps provide students with the tools to help step up and be leaders to help make our campus feel safer. Kirkwood students and prospective students can get more information about this program at www.kirkwood.edu/violenceprevention.
There are also many resources that students may use on campus if they find themselves needing services. Miller said she encourages students to reach out to a faculty or staff member they feel comfortable with when they find themselves in this type of situation.
And, if students have questions or concerns related to gender violence or Sexual Assault Awareness Month, they are welcome to reach out to the Dean of Students Office or review Kirkwood’s Sexual Harassment Policy at https://www.kirkwood.edu/catalog/current/sexual-harassment-procedure.htm.
Spring 2022 Art & Life Editor