Penn State holds Sexual Assault Awareness Month events in April

April 01, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In an ongoing effort to bring greater awareness to sexual violence and to child abuse, several Penn State events are being held during the month of April, which has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Highlighting events at University Park is a keynote speech by James Hmurovich, CEO and president of Prevent Child Abuse America, followed by a panel discussion, to be held 7:30 to 9 p.m., April 23, in the HUB Auditorium. The evening, titled “Making a Difference, Every Day: Preventing Child Abuse Begins with You,” is co-sponsored by multiple University and community organizations.

There are numerous resources available to help victims of sexual assault and violence at Penn State campuses and through services across Pennsylvania and nationwide. A detailed list of organizational contacts and online resources is available at

In addition to April’s events, Penn State’s Third Annual Conference on Child Protection and Well-Being will be held May 5 and 6 at the Nittany Lion Inn. The conference will feature presentations by multiple experts from across the country and will discuss four major areas of family dynamics: family processes underlying child maltreatment, intergenerational transmission of maltreatment, evidence-based interventions with maltreated children and their families, and future directions in child maltreatment prevention.

Following are some of the events being held throughout April at Penn State campuses. Some campuses held events in March as well.

Penn College
-- The Clothesline Project, a visual display that bears witness to violence against women, will be on display during the week of April 7 in the Bush Campus Center lobby.

-- "Drawing the Shades," a nationally recognized multimedia performance depicting the emotional experience of rape and sexual assault, will be held at 7 p.m. on April 9 in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium. The program, a short play followed by a musical slideshow, is free and open to the public. Multicultural and sexual minority issues will also be addressed; survivors are warned of the program's intensely emotional content. “Drawing the Shades” also will be offered in the auditorium as a professional development activity for Penn College faculty and staff at 2:30 p.m. on April 4.

Penn State Altoona
Penn State Altoona will host two key events in recognition of April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month.

-- On April 3, Penn State Altoona’s Health Advisory Board and Family Service, Inc. of Blair County will have a showing of the documentary “Healing Need.” During this lunch ’n’ learn, several speakers, including Kim Menard, assistant professor of criminal justice at Penn State Altoona, will discuss the importance of breaking the cycle of sexual violence. The Clothesline Project also will be on display and teal ribbons will be available for purchase with proceeds benefiting the Blair County Family Shelter.

-- “Take Back the Night” will be held at 4 p.m. on April 10 in the Slep Student Center. The Clothesline Project also will be on display, and a panel discussion will follow the showing of a documentary.

Penn State Beaver
The Penn State Beaver Student Activity Fee, the Women’s Center of Beaver County, the Penn State Beaver Climate and Diversity Committee, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of PA and the Penn State Commission for Women are sponsoring a series of programs for the campus community as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

-- An interactive workshop, “Know Your Neighbor,” will be conducted by the Women’s Center. The workshop will be offered at 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m., April 2, in room 16 of the Student Union Building.

-- A presentation on “The U.S. Attorney’s Insights About Sexual Violence in the Pittsburgh Region” will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on April 2 in the auditorium of the Student Union Building. The program is presented by the Pittsburgh region U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Women’s Center.  

-- The documentary “Boys and Men Healing” will be presented at 4:30 p.m. on April 2 in the auditorium of the Student Union Building. The film chronicles the impact of sexual abuse of boys, and the importance of speaking out and healing for male survivors. The Women’s Center will host a post-screening discussion.  

-- An interactive workshop, “Sexual Predators: How ‘Friends’ Become Enemies,” will be conducted by the Women’s Center at 4:30 p.m. on April 9 in the Lodge of the Student Union Building.

For more information, contact Dr. JoAnn Chirico, senior instructor in sociology and co-chair of the Climate and Diversity Committee, at or 724-773-3846.

Penn State Berks
-- The Feministic club will hold the second annual "Take Back the Night" event on April 7. A rally and march will begin at 1 p.m. at the Franco Amphitheater followed by presentations in the evening beginning at 6 p.m. in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium. The event will feature speeches by student organizations, facilities and student services, and special guests such as Berks Women in Crisis and "Take Back the Night" founder Katie Koestner. Koestner received public attention in 1991 when she was featured on the cover of Time magazine for being the first women to speak publicly about date rape. This event is free and open to the public.

Penn State DuBois
-- The Clothesline Project, a visual display that bears witness to violence against women, will be on display from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., April 14, 15 and 16, in The Lion’s Den.  In addition, a “Take Back the Night” rally will be held at 6 p.m. on April 16 in The Lion’s Den.

Penn State Greater Allegheny
-- In recognition of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Penn State Greater Allegheny Health Services and Student Affairs are hosting national speaker Elaine Pasqua on campus. Her program, “Sex and Excess, Surviving the Party,” will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on April 9 in the Ostermayer Room of the Student Community Center.

Pasqua effectively connects high-risk drinking to unprotected sex through captivating interactive exercises that get students out of their seats and engage them in real-life situations. The consequences of unprotected sex, as well as safe sex and healthy communication are discussed with honesty and humor. She clearly establishes the relationship of alcohol to sexual assault and warns of the use of date rape drugs. This dynamic program strives to create a safe and healthy campus environment.

Penn State Harrisburg
Penn State Harrisburg continues its support of sexual assault awareness with two events.

-- “Shatter the Silence: A Talk by Angela Rose” will take place at noon on April 1 at Morrison Gallery in the library. Rose’s decade of work on the issue of sexual violence has made her a highly respected and engaging speaker and an expert on sexual assault and violence prevention. She is also widely recognized as an advocate for survivor empowerment. To learn more information about Angela Rose, please visit the CAMPUSSPEAK webpage.

-- Penn State Harrisburg Commission for Women, SAF, Residence Life and the Penn State Commission for Women will sponsor Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, the International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. April 8 at Vartan Plaza. This extraordinary event offers male participants the opportunity to walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes while educating the community on sexual violence and rallying them to take preventative action. Registration is free and open through April 4. Participants can bring their own shoes; however, shoes will be available on a first-come-first-served basis the day of the event.

Penn State Mont Alto
-- Penn State Mont Alto is committed to raising awareness and providing education about sexual assault and child abuse. For Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month, Penn State Mont Alto’s Student Affairs will sponsor a “Welcome to the Party” film showing and discussion at 8:30 p.m. April 2 in the Wiestling Student Center. The event will be facilitated by an education services staff member from Women In Need (WIN), a nonprofit organization that provides services to domestic violence and sexual assault victims in Franklin and Fulton Counties.

Penn State Schuylkill
-- Penn State Schuylkill and the Penn State Schuylkill Commission for Women will host the “Annual Survivor Tea” at noon on April 2 in the R. Michael Fryer conference room. Rachel Mercuri, counselor with the Sexual Assault Resource and Counseling Center (SARCC) will speak about her role with SARCC and the new “Live the Green Dot” initiative. This event provides attendees the opportunity to celebrate survival over life’s challenges including both major obstacles and small challenges. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Contact Karen Beruck at to register.

-- On behalf of the Diversity Council of Penn State Schuylkill, Lauren J. Joseph, assistant professor of sociology, has arranged for the screening of “Out in the Silence,” a 2009 documentary film by Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer, at 7 p.m. April 2 in the R. Michael Fryer Conference Center. The film chronicles the chain of events that occur when the severe bullying of a gay teen draws Wilson and his partner back to the conservative rural community of Oil City, Pa., where their own same-sex wedding announcement had previously ignited a controversy. The Diversity Council is very pleased to host this event that will touch on issues of local Pennsylvania culture and social change, diversity and community, and mutual understanding and communication. Following the film screening, Rev. Mark Micklos, an evangelical preacher featured in the documentary film who developed an unexpected friendship with the filmmakers, will lead a discussion with the audience on LGBT issues, religion and learning to communicate across deep divides. Micklos is senior pastor at the Fern Trinity Evangelical Congregational Church. 

This documentary was funded in part by Penn State through WPSU, an outreach service of the University.  This event is free and open to the public. For additional information contact Lauren J. Joseph at

Penn State Shenango
-- From noon to 1 p.m. on April 9, the Penn State Shenango Human Development and Family Studies club will host a sexual assault awareness program in the Great Hall. A speaker from AWARE, a victim services agency dedicate to eliminating domestic and sexual violence in Mercer County, will discuss the importance of sexual assault awareness and prevention. Campus police officer Joe Izzo and campus counselor Tony Paglia will also be on hand to provide additional resources and information for victims of sexual assault. In addition, Penn State Shenango alumnus Dan Durst will conduct a self-defense demonstration and discuss training classes that are offered in the Shenango community. Student attendees will receive a rape whistle as a free give-a-way for the event.

University Park campus and greater State College area
-- At 6:30 p.m. on March 31, the Center for Women Students and Sapphire Leadership Program sponsored “Project Unbreakable: An Evening with Grace Brown.” Conceived in 2011, this program features a display of more than 2,000 images of sexual assault survivors holding posters with quotes from their attackers.

-- TRIOTA, Penn State’s women’s studies’ honor society, will host an interactive discussion panel titled "WE ARE asking for consent" at 7 p.m. on April 3 in 111 Wartik outlining what consent actually means.

-- TRIOTA will present the documentary "Brave Miss World" at 8 p.m. on April 3 in 104 Thomas. The film tells the story of Miss Israel Linor Abargil and how she transcended her sexual assault to bring support and hope to other victims.

-- Student organization One Heart will host “Stewards of Children,” an interactive training program that provides education on child protection. The training will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on April 5. A location will be announced following registration.

-- A brown bag discussion titled “Sexual assault: What if it happened to me or someone I know?” will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on April 7 in 203 Boucke Building. Jill Buchanan from University Health Services will facilitate the discussion.

-- Join the Center for Women Students and the Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 8 in Memorial Lounge at Pasquerilla Spiritual Center to honor the strength and resiliency of survivors of sexual, emotional and physical violence, and those who support them in the healing process.

-- Join CAPS, PCAR, No More and 1 in 6 at 6:30 p.m. on April 9 in the HUB auditorium for "Boys and Men Healing," a film and panel discussion event about male survivors of child abuse.

-- The Panhellenic Council welcomes Tawakkol Karman to speak on women’s empowerment at 7:30 p.m. April 9 in Alumni Hall.

-- At 1 p.m. April 10 Men Against Violence will host the annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event to spread awareness about sexual violence and give men the opportunity to experience what women go through in heels, even if only for a mile. The event is free and registration forms are available starting April 1 in 204 Boucke Building and can be found electronically on the Men Against Violence Facebook page.

-- UPUA, The Panhellenic Council and IFC welcomes Jaclyn Friedman, writer, performer, activist and editor of “Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape,” who will speak at 7:30 p.m. April 14 in 100 Thomas Building.

-- Form 6 to 7 p.m. on April 15 in Greg Sutliff Auditorium in the Lewis Katz Building the Center for Women Students and Family Law Clinic, the Centre County Bar Association and the Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs will host “Legal and Ethical Aspects of Sexual Violence Cases,” a panel discussion that explores the legal and ethical challenges associated with sexual violence cases. Panelists include Sean McGraw, defense attorney and former prosecutor; David Kaye, professor of law at Penn State and an expert on DNA, statistics and forensic evidence; Audra Hixson, assistant director of the Center for Women Students at Penn State; and Spencer Peters, a detective with the Penn State University Police. Jill Engle, a professor of law at Penn State and director of the school's Family Law Clinic, will moderate. Visit for more information.

-- Join CAPS from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on April 16 in the HUB auditorium for "Don't Stand By: Show You Care About Sexual Assault," a program that teaches individuals how to recognize danger signs and intervene to help prevent sexual assaults.

-- The Commission for Women’s Personal Safety and Sexual Assault Awareness Committee will host “Megan Maas: A lecture on sexual violence prevention in a sexualized culture” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 17 in Foster Auditorium.

-- The powerful documentary “You Are the One” will be screened at 6:30 p.m. on April 22 in Freeman Auditorium, HUB-Robeson Center. The film explores sexual assault awareness and sexual empowerment on college campuses through the work of two activists and the strong connections they’ve established during their travels throughout the United States.

-- Join the Penn State community at 6 p.m. April 23 in front of Old Main for the annual “Take Back the Night” march hosted by Lambda Theta Alpha Sorority, Inc.

-- Join UPUA and The Network for the Protection and Well-Being of Children from 7:30 to 9 p.m., April 23, in the HUB Auditorium when they present “Making a Difference, Every Day: Preventing Child Abuse Begins with You.” This event is co-sponsored by multiple University and community organizations, and will feature keynote speaker James Hmurovich, CEO and president of Prevent Child Abuse America. A list of sponsors and additional information are at

-- The Panhellenic Council will host a self-defense presentation from 6 to 8 p.m., April 28, in Alumni Hall.

-- TRIOTA will sponsor a sexual assault panel featuring Penn State faculty and staff at 7 p.m. April 28, location to be determined.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 07, 2014