Penn State to host Sexual Assault Awareness Month events in April

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- As part of Penn State’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness about sexual violence, the University is marking Sexual Assault Awareness month in April, with events slated to take place at campuses across the Commonwealth.

The calendar includes lectures, film screenings, self-defense training, “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” events and other educational programs.

Jennifer Pencek, programming coordinator of the Center for Women Students at University Park, said the events “always focus on supporting victims and educating the public about the realities of sexual violence and other issues faced by so many people.”

“Even if people think they know everything there is to know about a particular issue like sexual violence or think sexual violence will never impact them or someone they know, I encourage them to attend these events and really see how many people truly are impacted by sexual violence,” Pencek said.

There are resources available to help victims of sexual assault and violence at the Penn State campuses. Those resources include centers and medical, counseling and advocacy services. A full list is available here: http://news.psu.edu/story/348965/2015/03/18/campus-life/university-resou...

Following are some of the events being held this April at Penn State campuses:

Penn State Abington
-- The Health & Wellness Center at Penn State Abington is sponsoring the discussion “Sex & Excess: Surviving the Party” led by nationally recognized speaker Elaine Pasqua at noon on Monday, April 6. Pasqua clearly establishes the relationship of alcohol to sexual assault and warns of the use of date rape drugs. Combining the topics of alcohol, sex and sexual assault brings home the relevant message of respecting one another and keeping each other safe. Students are empowered to perform their best academically and to have fun without life-altering consequences or regrets.

-- The SHE student organization is hosting a panel discussion "Let's Talk About Sexual Assault" at 12:15 p.m. Thursday, April 9. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to participate in an open dialogue about sexual assault on college campuses. SHE, a new student group at Abington, promotes awareness of women's issues on campus, in the community and in the world at large. The group also provides a forum for discussion of women's issue on campus and strives to combat sexism, racism and class discrimination through activism.

Penn State Altoona
-- “Lunch and Learn,” 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 23 at the Devorris Center. Agenda includes: bystander training, sexual assault advocate speaker Jennifer Storm, panel discussion and book signing.

Penn State Beaver
-- The Penn State Beaver Climate and Diversity Committee, the Women’s Center of Beaver County and Penn State Beaver Police Services are sponsoring a series of on-campus programs in April as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. With the exception of the first event, programs are open to the campus community only.

-- The public is invited to attend a screening of the award-winning documentary, “Searching for Angela Shelton,” which is co-sponsored by the Women’s Center of Beaver County, at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 13, in the Student Union Building auditorium. The documentary depicts filmmaker Angela Shelton’s drive through the United States to survey other women with her name and her discovery that 70 percent of the women she met were survivors of rape and/or childhood sexual abuse and/or domestic violence. The Women’s Center will facilitate an audience discussion following the film.

-- A presentation on bystander intervention will be presented at noon Wednesday, April 15, room 16, Student Union Building.

-- A workshop called “Got Consent?” will be held at noon Wednesday, April 22, room 16, Student Union Building.

Penn State Beaver Police Services will offer the following programs:

-- SAFE (Self-defense Awareness & Familiarization Exchange) will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, room 16, Student Union Building. This is an educational awareness, crime-victim prevention program providing females with information that may reduce their exposure to violence while introducing methods of self-defense.

-- RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) will be held from 8 p.m. to midnight, Thursday, April 16; Wednesday, April 22; and Thursday, April 23. The first two sessions will be held in room 15, Student Union Building, and the final session will be held in room 16, Student Union Building. The program provides women with realistic self-defense techniques and the knowledge to make educated decisions about resistance while enhancing awareness and prevention of risk and violence.

For more information about the first three programs, contact the Student Activities Office at jlt46@psu.edu or 724-773-3947 or JoAnn Chirico, senior instructor in sociology and co-chair of the Climate and Diversity Committee, jxc64@psu.edu or 724-773-3846. For more information about the SAFE and RAD programs, contact Beaver Police Chief Anthony Budris, awb126@psu.edu or 724-773-3781.

Penn State Berks
-- The Penn State Berks Office of Health Services is hanging "NO MORE" posters on the Health Services bulletin boards located throughout various buildings on campus. In addition, Health Services will have table tents in Tully's, the campus cafeteria, with the "NO MORE" campaign materials, and will distribute teal awareness ribbons attached to a sexual assault fact card again. For more information on the "NO MORE" campaign, visit nomore.org.

Dickinson Law
-- Dickinson Law Self-Defense Class, organized by the Carlisle Student Wellness Committee of the SBA, with support of the Dickinson Law Office of Student Services and the Women's Law Caucus. Four classes are being held on Thursdays 4-5 p.m. beginning March 26 and concluding April 16. Classes will be taught by Carlisle Tae Kwon Do and Fitness Academy.

A basic self-defense class is being offered free of charge to Dickinson Law students to prepare them to respond to situations in which self-defense may be necessary. There will be four sessions, held once a week for four weeks. The instructor, in addition to teaching basic self-defense techniques, will prepare students for situations to avoid so that hopefully, they never have to use the self-defense techniques.

Penn State Harrisburg
-- “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, with a rain date of Thursday, April 9, in Vartan Plaza

“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” asks participants to walk one mile in high-heeled shoes. As preventive education, this event helps men understand and appreciate women’s experiences, aims to challenge and change perspectives, improve gender relationships and decrease the potential for violence. Participants can bring their own shoes; and shoes will be available on a first-come-first-served basis the day of the event. For more information, contact Lisa Hipkins at lmh34@psu.edu or Alison Smolinski at als539@psu.edu. This event is funded by Penn State Harrisburg Commission for Women, Residence Life and the Penn State University Commission for Women.

Penn State Hazleton
-- On Thursdays during April, "Bystander Intervention: Who Will You Be?" an awareness program about what bystanders can do to help prevent a potential situation from getting too far out of hand, will be offered at noon in the upper lobby of the Charles T. Butler Teaching and Learning Resource Center. The program consists of a video and handouts, and a counselor will be available for discussion and consultation.

-- Self Awareness and Familiarization Exchange (S.A.F.E.), a two-hour introductory self-defense program, will be offered in April. The program provides women with risk awareness, risk reduction and personal safety information, in addition to a few very basic physical defense techniques. Prevention, options, strategies and physical techniques are the key components of the S.A.F.E. program. Contact the Office of Student Affairs at 570-450-3160 for additional information.

Penn State Lehigh Valley
-- Penn State Lehigh Valley will hold its first Walk A Mile in Her Shoes march at 12:15 p.m. April 7. Male faculty, staff and students will don 4-inch red heels for a symbolic walk around campus to take a stand against sexual violence. Participants will begin the walk at the Sports Court, and will finish at the campus’s Nittany Lion shrine. Emily Rieser, Outreach Educator for the Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley, will close the event. Interested male faculty, staff and students can register for the event at the campus’s reception desk or by calling 610-285-5000. All are welcome to attend the event and support participants as they walk for the cause. 

Penn State University Park
The University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA), which observes Sexual Violence Awareness Week April 6-10, and the Center for Women Students are among the organizations holding events in April.

UPUA, along with Student Affairs, University Health Services, the Center for Women Students, Residence Life and the Office of Student Conduct are also sponsoring an educational poster campaign in April.

Tabling will happen throughout the week in the HUB-Robeson Center to distribute resources and educate students about sexual violence, consent and supporting survivors. Each day there will be giveaways, as well. There will be fundraisers each day at local food establishments to raise money to support the Centre County Women’s Resource Center. For more information on events, go to upua.org.

-- At 6 p.m. April 6, in Alumni Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center, the University Park Undergraduate Association is sponsoring a talk by Jasmin Enriquez, a Penn State alumna and the founder of Sexual Violence Awareness Week. After graduation, Enriquez moved back to California where she founded her own non-profit that focuses on consent called Only With Consent. She will deliver a keynote speech on her experiences and the importance of consent.

-- At 5:30 p.m. April 7 in the Freeman Auditorium, HUB-Robeson Center, the Graduate and Professional Student Association will host a movie screening of “The Mask You Live In” and panel discussion. The film examines harmful norms of masculinity in American culture and how these norms fail American boys and men.

-- At 12:30 p.m. April 8, in the Freeman Auditorium, HUB-Robeson Center, Kristin Meyerback from the Centre County Women’s Resource Center will deliver “Sexual Assault 101,” a presentation about what sexual assault is, how to support survivors and what resources are available in Centre County.

-- At 6 p.m. April 8, with the location to be announced, Katie Tenny, the chair of the Bystander Intervention Taskforce and a counselor in Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), will conduct a seminar teaching students how to be active bystanders in potentially dangerous situations. The Center for Women Students is co-facilitating the program, which shows how any action to disrupt a dangerous situation can have a profound impact.

-- At noon April 9, Men Against Violence will and the Interfraternity Council will sponsor the annual “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence” march down Pollock Road to spread awareness about violence against women and give men the opportunity to experience what women go through in heels, even if only for a mile.

All men participating in the march are required to attend a short educational session prior to the walk in Freeman Auditorium, HUB. For more information and to register, go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1bDIbqlwra8CNc3C17j7YhPO1Vdn5NyMNSL7A7O4...

-- On April 10, the women’s studies honor society, TRIOTA, will host a mattress carry to show support and solidarity for survivors of sexual violence. This is modeled after the mattress carry at Columbia University.

-- Join National Story Slam Champion Nancy Donoval to learn how to transform difficult aspects of life into powerful stories. The “Crafting Your Story” workshop will take place at 3:30 p.m. April 14, in the Garden Room, Pasquerilla Spiritual Center. RSVP to Jennifer Pencek at jlp35@psu.edu.

Whether you have experienced difficult times yourself or you love someone who has, your story matters. The workshop will be a safe and supportive space wherever you are on your journey, and all are welcome. Learn tips and techniques for gaining emotional distance, shaping rich imagery, and even finding humor lurking in the shadows. Links to samples of Donoval's work are available at www.Stories2StopRape.com.

-- “Honoring Survival: Transforming the Spirit” will take place at 6:30 p.m. April 14, in Memorial Lounge, Pasquerilla Spiritual Center. This annual event will honor the strength and resiliency of survivors of sexual, emotional and physical violence. There will be stories shared, along with music, food and healing activities. Participants of the “Crafting Your Story” workshop may share their stories if they wish.

-- The annual “Take Back the Night” walk will start at 6 p.m. April 23, in front of Old Main. On the walk, hosted by Lambda Theta Alpha Sorority Inc., survivors of sexual and domestic violence will share their stories at various stops around campus and downtown to a supportive group of community and University members.

Last Updated October 27, 2015