Sexual Violence Awareness Week events include 'Walk a Mile,' talks, films

February 19, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Sexual Violence Awareness Week, which brings attention to the issue and the Penn State resources available to prevent and address it, includes a variety of events this year starting March 28. 

"Sexual violence is a very real issue many Penn Staters and people across the country face whether they are a victim of sexual violence or know someone who has been impacted," said Jennifer Pencek, programming coordinator with the Center for Women Students.

"While there is extensive prevention and awareness programming done throughout the year by providers like the Center for Women Students, Sexual Violence Awareness Week is meant to take a finite amount of time — a week — and highlight a variety of events and resources that aim to keep us all safe and enlightened. Sexual violence is all of our business and truly impacts each and every one of us," Pencek said.

The events lead into April, which is Sexual Violence Awareness Month and which will feature a number of programs. 

Shannon Rafferty, director of sexual violence prevention and awareness with the University Park Undergraduate Association, said the week of events, held every year, are meant to "inform and educate students about the very real problem of sexual violence and misconduct on our campus."

"This week of concentrated programming and education can be a source of empowerment for survivors and a way to raise awareness of the issue to increase preventative efforts," Rafferty said. "My hope is that students will learn how they can act in small ways to lower the incidents of sexual violence on our campus and feel that their actions do make a large impact."

Events on the University Park campus include:

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
Noon, March 28, Alumni Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is an annual event that draws attention to the issue of sexual violence. In keeping with the saying, "You can't really understand another person's experiences until you've walked a mile in their shoes," men (and women) wear high-heeled shoes and walk through campus. The event helps generate discussion about sexual violence, which will be facilitated by Eve Ensler, creator of The Vagina Monologues and V-Day.

Eve Ensler
6:30 p.m. March 28, Alumni Hall

Ensler is the creator of The Vagina Monologues, V-Day, One Billion Rising and various other movements across the globe. She will speak about violence against women both in the United States and around the world.

Vulnerable Art and Trauma Survivorship
2:30 p.m. March 29, Palmer Lipcon Auditorium, Palmer Museum of Art
Penn State feminist art education researcher Hyunji Kwon will make a presentation on trauma and suffering through several works of art created by the subjects of trauma and artists working on others’ trauma. This includes the work of: former "comfort women;" sex slaves of the Japanese military during World War II; artists Judy Chicago and Donald Woodman’s project with students at the Western Kentucky University depicting domestic and sexual violence happening in one’s own home; Columbian artist Doris Salcedo’s series focused on trauma caused by political violence; and Korean American artist Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s work on intergenerational and transnational trauma. 

"Tough Guise 2" film screening
8 p.m. March 29, Freeman Auditorium in the HUB-Robeson Center
"Tough Guise 2" discusses the social construction of masculinity and how society conditions men to "act like men." The film looks at how the concept of masculinity contributes to violence in our culture.

Stand for State workshop
2:30 p.m. March 30, Room 233B HUB-Robeson Center
Penn State's Bystander Intervention Initiative, Stand for State, will host a workshop open to all students. The workshop will teach the three Ds of bystander intervention: direct, distract and delegate.

Sisters on the Runway Fashion Show
6:30 p.m. March 30, Heritage Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center
Sisters on the Runway, an organization dedicated to preventing domestic and sexual violence, will host the second annual fashion show to benefit the Centre County Women's Resource Center. In addition to the fashion show, the event will feature various Penn State a capella groups, dance companies and performers, along with a raffle and food.

"Pursuit of Truth" film screening
March 31, time and location TBA  
This documentary tells the story of adult survivors of child sexual abuse seeking justice. Following the screening, the directors of the film will host a discussion with attendees.

Gala benefiting the Centre County Women's Resource Center
6-8 p.m. April 1, Hintz Family Alumni Center
The gala benefiting the Centre County Women's Resource Center will feature food and guest speakers on one side of the Hintz Center and a walk through a survivor's experience with sexual assault on the other. Details on the gala, which requires tickets, will be announced.


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 26, 2016