Sexual Assault Awareness Month brings people together to create and generate discussion and skill-building on how to prevent sexual violence in our schools, workplaces, and communities. While providing support and care to survivors of sexual violence is an everyday action, this awareness month also carves out intentional moments to honor and believe survivors’ stories and experiences. As we all do our part to flatten the curve during this public health crisis, we won’t be able to physically come together this April to do this critical work. The Women’s Center and all of our campus partners including the Office of Equity and Inclusion, University Health Services, the Counseling Center, Green Dot, We Believe You, and Retriever Courage, and more will nonetheless continue to promote awareness and prevention this month.
We are inviting our UMBC community to join our efforts.
Learn - Each week during April, the Women’s Center will be focusing on various topics and issues related to sexual violence awareness and prevention (see attached flyer). Follow us on social media (Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram) to watch videos, read articles, and engage in other content for learning and skill-building. Leave us comments or ask questions. We also hope to offer some virtual discussions over the month to engage as a community in this learning. Stay tuned to the Women’s Center’s myUMBC for more details.
Create - We are redesigning the Clothesline Project and parts of Take Back the Night for a virtual setting that honors survivors’ stories and creates space for community members to hold and validate these stories. Survivors of sexual violence/power-based violence are invited to share their stories so others in our community may still bear witness. The Women’s Center will share these stories in a virtual Clothesline Project and zine project: “Survivors to the Front: A Call to Witness”.
--To submit a virtual Clothesline T-Shirt Project, visit our myUMBC post for more details.
--To submit artwork, poetry, stories to our zine by 4/15, visit our myUMBC post for more details.
Come Together - The We Believe You discussion groupwill still be meeting weekly. Survivors of power-based violence are welcomed to join this virtual community hosted by the Women’s Center with support from the We Believe You student org. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on how you can join this virtual discussion.
The events, activism, discussions, support, and stories that stem from Sexual Assault Awareness Month are some of the Women’s Center’s most significant and special. As we make adjustments to our calendar and move programming online, we want students to know that it is okay to grieve Take Back the Night and our other annual traditions. We are alongside you in that grieving process, and we hope that in these extraordinary times, we can continue to act with extraordinary compassion and conscientiousness to prevent sexual violence at UMBC and beyond.
And, remember, no matter where you are, dear survivors, we see you. We believe you. You matter. Always.
Additionally, throughout this time of distance learning, campus staff are still here and available for support. Do not hesitate to reach out for questions, concerns, or care.
On-Campus Resources Available for Virtual Support:
Visit Retriever Courage for a full list of campus resources and support to include resources for USG students, faculty, and staff
For up-to-date details on how to access these resources during this time of distance learning visit UMBC’s COVID-19 resources page.
To report a complaint of sexual misconduct or discrimination, please submit this online form.
TurnAround, Inc. Helpline (Available 24/7): 443-279-0379; Office: 410-377-8111
MCASA is still open and supporting survivors.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline is 24/7, confidential and free: 800-656-HOPE (4673) and through chat.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 24/7, confidential and free: 1-800-799-7233 and through chat.
Visit Retriever Courage for a more extensive list of off-campus resources and support
Follow the Women’s Center on myUMBC, Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram for SAAM updates and information throughout the month of April.