College students at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi are teaming up to support Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The University is hosting several educational and engaging activities for students, faculty, staff, and the community at large throughout the month of April.
It’s 2018, women still shouldn’t have to live with the fear of being sexually assaulted in their work place, their home, and even while trying to earn an education.
Colleges across the nation are trying to raise awareness of the frequent sexual assaults occurring on their campuses.
"I think it’s a national problem. So no matter where you are, whether if in Texas or California, I think it is a global problem. It is just not in the United States, it is a world issue," said Associate Dean of Students Angela Walker.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is dedicated to not only preventing sexual assault, but also providing educational opportunities to bring awareness to the seriousness of this matter.
"The end result – we don’t want people to be bystanders if they see something, not only to say something, but we want them to do something, and to be there to support those who are survivors," said Walker
"The whole entire campus is aware of what we do for supporting our students who may be victims. We want them to feel like they are cared for and supported. That is really important to us, that they know there is a place they can go to. A lot of time, victims feel like no one cares; there is not a place where they can go to and have confidential supporting. So that is an option for our students as well," said Walker.
Organizers say they want to show support for sexual assault and domestic violence victims, and they want to do so with the first annual Islanders Race to Zero 5K walk/Run event.
"Because it is happening, as long as there is one person who is a survivor, it is still a problem and that is why we are doing the Islanders Race to Zero. We want to get to the point where there are zero incidents of any form of sexual violence in our community," said Walker.
Islanders Race to Zero 5K Walk/Run will take place Friday, April 20, at 6:45 p.m. at the University hike and bike trail.
- Islander students – FREE
- Islander Alumni – $15
- Public – $25
The United States Department of Justice highlights a chilling statistic: one out of every four female undergraduates will be victim to some form of sexual assault before graduation. RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) recently reported that someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds.
According to RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) "Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.
Male undergraduate college students are nearly 80 percent more likely to be victims of these crimes versus men who do not attend college.
The race aims to raise awareness concerning issues of sexual violence and provide resource for individuals who are, or know someone who is, a victim of sexual assault. After the race, there will be a resource fair with campus/community partners and a candlelight vigil to honor victims of sexual violence. While registration is required, the race is free for Islander students and pricing information for faculty, staff and the community can be found here.
Proceeds from this event benefit sexual violence prevention and awareness initiatives.
Other SAAM events include:
- April 12: ‘Painting for Awareness with Sofia’: Will be hosted from 4-6 p.m. in the University Center, Bayview room 320. Participants will paint a powerful design created by Sofia Rodriguez, an A&M-Corpus Christi student, which highlights the importance of sexual violence awareness and prevention. The event is free and open to all students, though registration is required through OrgSync. Participation is guaranteed to the first 30 RSVP’s. Email Michael.LaTorre@tamucc.edu with any questions.
- April 26: Denim Day: Will be hosted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the East Lawn. Denim Day is a national event where participants can decorate jeans with messages that bring awareness sexual violence and show support for sexual assault victims. Participants are encouraged to wear jeans on this day and come to share their message regarding sexual violence and get information on campus/community resources. For more information about Denim Day, visit http://denimdayinfo.org/ .