OHIO to host events this month for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Published: April 8, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University is hosting several events in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. 

As part of the “SayHerName: Building Community to Support Women of Color at OHIO” initiative, Ohio University will host a discussion and letter writing campaign to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence who are incarcerated. 

The event, which is organized by the Ohio University Women’s Center, will be held on Wednesday, April 21 from noon to 1 p.m. To participate, register online at least two days prior to the event. 

Sparked by the Division for Diversity and Inclusion’s “Public Forum on Breonna Taylor: Mourning, Reflecting, Moving Forward,” SayHerName has provided programming for those directly impacted by racism and sexism, as well as other interlinked forms of oppression, and their allies. Events have been created to build a community of support and to serve as a public space for expression.

Also this month, the Survivor Advocacy Program and Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life are planning a Denim Day event for Wednesday, April 28. Denim Day is a campaign held each year in April to honor Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

Denim Day began after an Italian Supreme Court ruling in which a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. 

What started as a local campaign to bring awareness to victim blaming and destructive myths that surround sexual violence has grown into a movement. As the longest running sexual violence prevention and education campaign in history, Denim Day asks community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion statement by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence. 

At Ohio University, the campus community is invited to participate on April 28 by wearing jeans or denim, posting photos on social media, tagging the Survivor Advocacy Program and Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life and using the hashtag #OHIODenimDay2021. 

In addition, Kimberly Rouse and Ariel Tarosky of the Survivor Advocacy Program and Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life will present a workshop titled “The Myth of the Perfect Survivor” on April 28 at noon. Participants can register online for the virtual workshop. More information is available here: https://www.ohio.edu/survivor/get-involved/workshops.

The Ohio University community also can participate in ongoing virtual exhibits. This includes the “What Were You Wearing?” Survivor Art Installation, In This Space: Disrupted, and Through the Survivors’ Lens exhibits. 

Resource Information:

Ohio University students can schedule a virtual meeting with a survivor advocate using the link here: https://www.ohio.edu/survivor/about-sap/advocates.

OHIO employees can also receive support through the Employee Assistance Program at https://www.ohio.edu/hr/benefits/employee-assistance-program.

Ohio University employees and community members seeking confidential resources regarding interpersonal violence should contact the
Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program: 77 East State Street Athens, OH 45701; Toll-Free: 888-597-SAOP (7267) and/or My Sister’s Place, which operates the hotline at 1-800-443-3402.

Equity and Civil Rights Compliance is available to those who wish to report incidents of sexual misconduct at OHIO.