April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Every 92 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
Sexual violence is often committed by someone known to the victim.
The likelihood that a person suffers suicidal or depressive thoughts increases after sexual violence.
These are just a few statistics to highlight why this month of awareness is so very important for our campus and our greater community. As our campus embraces the spirit and commitment of Retriever Courage, this month serves as another reminder about the importance of creating dialogue and learning opportunities around sexual violence prevention and supporting survivors of sexual violence.
Various offices and departments on campus have come together to host several events this April that will honor the voices and experiences of survivors of sexual assault. Additionally, there are events that will seek to raise awareness about sexual assault, the importance of effective consent, and resources related to reporting and receiving support.
The event calendar is attached to this post. Please feel free to download, mark your calendar with the events you plan on attending, and share the word with other students, staff, and faculty. You can also access most SAAM events via the myUMBC SAAM tag.
To kick-off Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Women's Center and We Believe You are hosting a screening of Cameron Esposito's stand-up routine, "Rape Jokes." Rape Jokes is a standup special about sexual assault from a survivor's perspective. Esposito explores how rape jokes have entered mainstream comedy and provides a powerful critique of rape culture.
After the viewing, the Women's Center will have a few activities for viewers to process and react to this powerful piece! We'll be discussing survivorship, consent, and how mainstream comedy perpetuates rape culture.
This event is free but we will be accepting donations to RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization.
Throughout all of April, opportunities to make shirts for UMBC's Clothesline Project will be made available in the Women's Center. Community members wishing to make a shirt can let someone at the front desk know they are interested in making a shirt and a staff member will be able to assist you.
A full display will be held on Commons Main Street from 11am-4pm on Monday, April 8th. A small display of the Clothesline Project will be at Take Back the Night on April 12th.
Thursday, April 11th, 4-5:30pm for UMBC students in the Women's Center. Please register via myUMBC if you plan on attending.
Thursday, April 18th on Commons Main Street.
The survivor speak-out will begin at 6:15pm and will be followed by campus march. We encourage people to arrive no later than 6pm to find a seat and check out the resource fair before the survivor speak-out begins. Bring your rally signs (which you can make in the Women's Center during the week of April 15th).
If you plan on taking photos for a class assignment and/or publications such as The Retriever, please contact the Women's Center staff to request a press pass.
Other Events Throughout the Month Include:
- #ViolenceFreeUMBC on Wednesday, April 3rd from 11am-1pm on Commons Main Street (sponsored by UHS Health Promotions)
- Green Dot Bystander Intervention Training
For Faculty and Staff: Friday, April 5th 12:30-3:30pm
For Students: Saturday, April 6th 10am-4pm
RSVP required by emailing Jacki Stone firstname.lastname@example.org
- Consent and Cookies Workshop on Tuesday, April 9th from 12-12:25pm and 12:30-12:55pm in The Commons 329 (sponsored by Human Relations Office)
- A Report/Disclosure Was Made…Now What Happens? on Tuesday, April 16th from 12-1pm in The Commons 318 (sponsored by Human Relations Office)
- We Believe You Consent Event on Wednesday, April 17th from 1-3pm in The Commons Sports Zone
- All Hands on Deck! on Tuesday, April 23rd from 1-2:30pm on The Commons Main Street (sponsored by Office of Human Relations)
- Pillow Talk: Healthy Sexual Communication on Thursday, April 25th from 3:30pm-5pm in the Women's Center
- Knowledge Exchange: Deconstructing the Perfect Victim on Thursday, April 30th from 5-6pm in the Women's Center
- What Were You Wearing? Weaving a New Narrative Opening Reception on Thursday, April 4, 5-7:30 Cook Library 3rd floor lobby
- Good Kids: Staged reading of a play by Naomi Iizuka followed by paneled talk-back (featuring UMBC's Jacki Stone) on Friday Apr 26th at 7pm in WB204
Ongoing Events and Resources for Survivors and Allies:
- We Believe You General Body Meetings. We Believe You is a student organization for activists against sexual assault. Come join them aid the movement against sexual assault; as well as support the survivor community. Email email@example.com for updated information on meeting times.
- We Believe You Discussion Group every Wednesday from 4-5pm in the Women’s Center. This discussion group is a private discussion for survivors of sexual assault co-hosted by the Women's Center and We Believe You
For more information about Retriever Courage, visit the website.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for SAAM updates and information throughout the month of April!
If you'd like to financial support the work the Women's Center does to support survivors of sexual violence and create awareness about sexual assault, you can donate to our Grit Starter campaign.