Kent State announces programming for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Jenna Bal, Reporter

An exhibit featuring six stories of survivors of sexual assault will be the first project the Center for Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services displays in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The opening reception of the “What Were You Wearing” exhibit is Thursday, April 7 from 5-7 p.m. Six outfits will be recreated from stories submitted by members of the Kent State community.

“We know that’s one of the first questions a victim is asked,” said Jennifer O’Connell, the director of SRVSS. “Almost as if what you were wearing might’ve provoked this person to assault you.”

The display will be open April 7-12 on the Judy Devine Gallery Wall at the Williamson House.

Calendar of events hosted by SRVSS for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. (Courtesy of SRVSS)

“We will be displaying outfits with their stories, with the goal of addressing the myth that what someone wears asks to be sexually assaulted,” said O’Connell.

Throughout the month of April, SRVSS has a variety of programming available for students.

“Unlearning Sex,” a documentary following a woman as she heals from sexual trauma, will be shown at the Student Center Ballroom at 6 p.m. April 12. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion.

“More than Words,” an opportunity for survivors of sexual and relationship violence to create art and self-reflect, will take place April 20 from 1-4 p.m. at the Williamson House. Sign-up is required for this event.

The Clothesline Project” will be displayed April 27-28 in the Student Center. Originally started in Massachusetts in 1990, it is a national initiative to support victims of violence. Decorated shirts are hung on a clothesline, each shirt representing a victim, with the color of the shirt corresponding to the violence experienced.

In addition, students involved in the SRVSS pilot course, “Sexual and Relationship Violence Prevention Course: Creating a Safer Campus,” will present their final projects in the Student Center.

“For the first time they will do a tabling event,” said the course instructor, Bayadir Alrehaili. “It is a good way for students to come around and raise their awareness.”

Lastly, the year-round Titanium Tulip series will have three events. The series focuses on self-care, and April events include yoga, speakers and discussion.

All of these events are designed to educate the public, raise awareness and provide support throughout the month of April.

Jenna Bal is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].