A campus walk was held on Texas A&M University-Commerce to observe sexual assault awareness month, an annual campaign in April to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.
Each year, state, territory, tribal and community-based organizations, rape crisis centers, government agencies, businesses, campuses and individuals plan events and activities to highlight sexual violence as a public health, human rights and social justice issue and reinforce the need for prevention efforts.
The Office of Student Advocacy & Support sponsored the event.
According to Jaci Fulton, graduate assistant, Office of Student Advocacy & Support, the department wanted to take this month to raise awareness on and beyond the campus.
“April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and we wanted to take time this month to spread information, resources, and services available both on and off campus to people who may have experienced or knows someone who has experienced sexual assault. This event is slightly inspired by the event ‘Walk A Mile in Her Shoes,’ which is a popular national campaign, but we chose the name ‘Walk the Talk’ for the gender inclusive nature,” Fulton said.
The walk began at Rayburn Student Center and ended at Ferguson Social Sciences, where refreshments were provided. The event featured two guest speakers, Dr. Nicole Farri, criminal justice and sociology professor, and a fellow survivor, Abigail Parmer. They took the lead on educating and informing students about resources available on and off campus such as Women in Need and the Rape Crisis Center. Students/members handed out cards with questions on them for participants to discuss during the walk.
Organizations such as Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network have hotlines to aid women with resources on how to get help. RAINN is in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual attack-related service providers across the country and operates the Department of Defense Safe Helpline. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors and secure/make sure that criminals are brought to justice.
Other events set to take place include the RAINN Game, a TAMUC softball game honoring survivors and victims of sexual assault.
A calendar of all events can be found on their social media, @AdvocacyVictim on Twitter and @victimssupporttamuc on Instagram.
For further information feel free to contact victim advocacy & support at 903-468-8132 or [email protected].