Butler students and organizations are working to spread awareness during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Photo courtesy of Latestly.com.
TESSA FACKRELL | STAFF REPORTER | email@example.com
The Survivor’s Alliance, PA|VE and the Sexual Assault Response and Prevention office, SARP, are hosting events this month in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, SAAM.
April 2023 marks the 22nd annual SAAM. The teal ribbon that commemorates the month has since been seen at marches, speeches and events to spread awareness about sexual assault.
The Survivor’s Alliance on campus has hosted, and will host more events throughout the month to continue the conversation about sexual assault on campus.
Sophie Knue, a sophomore sociology-criminology and music double major, founded the Survivor’s Alliance this year and currently serves as the president.
Knue wants to challenge the assumption that since our campus is so small, sexual assault doesn’t often happen here.
“[Sexual assault] happens to one in three women and one in five men on college campuses,” Knue said. “So if you look around the room, and there are 20 people there, more than half are going to have some kind of story in their lifetime.”
The Survivor’s Alliance has partnered with the SARP office to host four events so far including a survivor’s solidarity table and a “How to help a friend” table.
They are hosting “Trauma Informed Empowerment Yoga,” on April 19 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Atherton Union outdoor fire pits.
The groups are also hosting a “Survivor Arts Expo” on April 21 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in the Schrott Center for the Arts that features art, music and even a dressmaker’s work. The event will raise money for The Julian Center, the largest domestic violence shelter in Indiana.
Jules Grable, the sexual assault response and prevention specialist in the SARP office, is helping to host all of the events this month. Grable said she hopes the workshops, events and tables spread awareness about sexual assault across campus. She particularly wants people to attend the Survivor Arts Expo to see the hard work that faculty, staff and students have produced.
“The primary purpose of the evening is to just raise awareness and provide support for survivors and let them know that they’re seen, heard and believed,” Grable said.
Along with the SARP office, and the Survivor’s Alliance, the university PA|VE organization, which stands for Promoting Awareness | Victim Empowerment, is encouraging students to attend the Survivor Arts Expo.
Liam Moore, a sophomore critical communications major and secretary of PA|VE, hopes to increase consent culture on campus.
“You are seen; there are people here who are trying to make an effort to build up consent culture on campus, and we do have plenty of resources here, people who are willing to talk,” Moore said. “PA|VE is here to support you and all these other organizations are here to support you as well, and we just hope that we’re able to improve the experience of survivors, at least somewhat.”
The final event of the month is the Denim Day table on April 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside of Starbucks. Denim Day aims to support and show solidarity for a rape survivor whose rapist’s conviction was overturned because she was wearing tight jeans. The judge ruled that because her jeans were tight, she would have had to help the rapist pull them down, which implied consent.
Students who want to get involved during SAAM and beyond can do so by exploring resources and events put on by SARP, PA|VE or the Survivor’s Alliance.
Grable also encourages students to engage with sexual assault prevention by becoming a “Sexy, Can I?” consent workshop facilitator, assisting with Title IX projects, becoming a OneLove peer facilitator or joining the Sexual Misconduct Task Force. For students looking to get involved, Grable said she will collaborate with them to find their best fit to help the cause.