SAAM inspires awareness events


by Mira Dover


April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and groups across campus are collaborating to bring awareness to sexual assault. “We spend meetings planning events, working on projects like Denim Day keychains or creating stickers and flyers about consent education,” said Kayla Dixon, a junior officer in SASV. “For SAAM, Students Against Sexual Violence will be holding a plethora of events and working with other organizations on campus to raise awareness about sexual assault.”

For example, an event that’s already taken place is the Clothesline Project. “JMU’s Clothesline Project started in the spring of 1992 and has since collected over 1000 participant-made shirts from years past,” said Tripp Purks, Assistant Director in the Office of Residence Life. “This event seeks to highlight and bring awareness to the sexual victimization and intimate partner violence that JMU students and local community members have, and are experiencing, through the display of t-shirts with messages from survivors of sexual violence.”

On April 26, SASV put teal flags on the Quad to represent the number of college students who will experience sexual assault in their lives. “I was able to visit the display … last year, and it was moving to see the massive amount of flags,” said Dixon. SASV’s flags coincide with Denim Day, another awareness event for which students around campus are encouraged to wear jeans.

Some other events include panels like the SAAM Panel and the Men and Violence Panel. “I really enjoy the panels we are able to put on,” said Jordan McCann, assistant director for sexual and relationship health at UREC. “It’s a way to learn more about different resources and services.” She notes that the “Men and Violence Panel” is an important event for discussing toxic masculinity. She also suggests that students check out the JMU Master Calendar, follow SASV’s social media or visit the JMU Victim Advocacy page to learn more about the events this month. 

“I want students to know that even though Sexual Assault Awareness Month only lasts 30 days, sexual assault awareness and prevention is a cause that needs to be fought for every single day,” Dixon said. “Survivors deserve to be heard, valued and loved. [SASV] hopes to reach as many people as possible, and wants to get everyone involved in creating a campus culture that promotes safe, healthy, consensual relations.”

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Published: Thursday, April 27, 2023

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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