CSU’s Women & Gender Advocacy Center Observes Sexual Assault Awareness Month Throughout April

Colorado State University’s Women & Gender Advocacy Center will observe Sexual Assault Awareness Month throughout April with various events.

“Highlighting the importance of sexual assault awareness during the month of April allows us to put a spotlight on the conversation and the importance of the issues that our Center focuses on throughout the year,” said Kathy Sisneros, director of the Women and Gender Advocacy Center. “One of the most underrated aspects that I think the average person doesn’t realize is just how many people identify as a primary or secondary survivor of sexual assault. I think that if our campus community was more in tune with how many of our students enter CSU already affected, we would be more aggressive in trying to shift our culture of silence related to sexual assault and focus much more of our efforts on educating students as to what consensual sex is and isn’t.”

This year, the Women and Gender Advocacy Center is highlighting two specific events: a keynote event with Guante and a workshop on personal protection and empowerment.

Guante, a hip-hop artist, two-time national poetry slam champion, social justice activist, educator and writer, will speak at 8 p.m. April 8 in the LSC Theatre.

The Personal Protection and Empowerment workshop, set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 26, will explore safety and different strategies for increasing freedoms rather than restricting them.

“We firmly believe that the only person responsible for preventing violence is the person who chooses to commit it. Having said that, we also recognize that for some students, walking across campus at night, declining a date, being away from home or navigating past trauma can feel daunting. Everyone deserves to feel safe on campus and this session will explore the gendered dynamics of ‘safety’ and teach interpersonal/psychological strategies that increase rather than restrict freedoms,” said Monica Rivera, assistant director for Prevention and Education Programs at the Women and Gender Advocacy Center.

Registration for this event is required. To register, email Monica Rivera at Monica.Rivera@colostate.edu.

Events throughout the month aim to educate and raise awareness about sexual violence:

Women and Gender Advocacy Open House
10 a.m.-3 p.m. April 9, Women and Gender Advocacy Center, 112 Student Services Building
Stop by WGAC to say hi, meet the staff, enjoy refreshments and check out some of our resources. We will have games, raffles, and snacks all day.

Porn: Would You Know It If You See It?
7-8 p.m. April 15, LSC 228
In this open session of Men in the Movement, we will discuss the pervasive mainstreaming of pornography in the U.S. To learn more about the messages and implications, come as you are.

Self-Compassion for Survivors: An Intro to Using Acceptance, Gratitude, and Mindfulness to Relieve Emotional Suffering
6-7 p.m. April 16, Behavioral Sciences Building 131
Pain is inevitable, but suffering is not. This workshop will explore ways to cope with pain in meaningful ways that may help you to live a life you value with — not in spite of — your past.

Take Back the Night
7-9 p.m. April 17, CSU Montfort Quad
This internationally recognized rally and protest creates an atmosphere of empowerment while raising awareness about sexual violence. The event begins with a speak-out and ends with a march to Old Town. No recording will be allowed at the speak-out prior to the march. This event is hosted by Campus Feminist Alliance.

Film Screening & Discussion: The Line
7-8 p.m. April 23, Natural Resources 113
Told through a “sex-positive” lens, The Line is a short documentary about the filmmaker, who confronts her rapist on film. Sex workers, survivors and activists discuss justice, accountability and today’s “rape culture.” The film asks: Where is the line defining consent? This event is co-sponsored by Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Clothesline Project
6-8 p.m. April 24, Durrell Center
The Clothesline Project is a visual display of shirts with messages and illustrations that have been designed by survivors of violence or their loved ones. T-shirt making sessions will allow survivors to make a free anonymous shirt for the exhibit.

Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act & Title IX: Role and Responsibilities of Faculty and Staff
Noon-1:30 p.m. April 25, Clark A206
Please join the Women and Gender Advocacy Center, Support & Safety Assessment, and Conflict Resolution & Student Conduct Services to explore how federal legislation and guidance influence ways in which sexual misconduct cases are addressed at CSU. There will be time for Q&A for faculty and staff to better understand their role if a student discloses an account of interpersonal violence.

Rape: The Reality of Blurred Lines: Workshop by Cori Wong
Noon-1:30 p.m. April 28, LSC 224
Unfortunately, our cultural assumptions surrounding rape often don’t align with actual experiences of rape, sexual assault, and sexual coercion. Because of these misperceptions, many survivors might remain silent because they don’t know if their experience “counts” as rape, and many perpetrators may not realize how they are crossing sexual boundaries and harming others.

CTMO Consent Carnival
6-8 p.m. April 28, Corbett Hall
The annual consent carnival includes carnival games, prizes, snacks and the Consent Turns Me On photo booth. This event is sponsored by GUIDE.