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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (March 15, 2012) – It is estimated that every two minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted, and that there is an average of more than 207,000 individuals, age 12 and over, who are the victims of such crimes. In support of local efforts to prevent and respond to this violence, UCM is sponsoring a “Take Back the Night” 5K Run/Walk beginning at 9 p.m. on Wednesday April 4. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Johnson County Survival Adult Abuse Center, as part of UCM’s observance of the national Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The Office of Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center and the grant-funded group, Wing It, are sponsoring the event. The cost for participation is $10 per person. Participants may register in advance using the forms available online at ucmo.edu/5Kentryform or from the SRWC. The first 200 people to sign up will get a free t-shirt commemorating the event. Participants may also register the evening of the 5K, beginning at 8:30 p.m., at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
Additional activities planned in observation of the month include an information table in the Elliott Union, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, April 9; Denim Day Wednesday, April 25; and a month-long social media campaign.
Throughout the month, a social media campaign is planned to dispel common myths about sexual assault. To participate, “like” VSAP on Facebook at facebook/ucmvsap or follow VSAP on Twitter @ucmvsap.
Individuals who are interested in learning more about sexual assault prevention and resources for survivors are urged to stop by the information table in the Elliott Union on April 9. Representatives of the UCM Counseling Center and VSAP will be there to distribute brochures and provide information about counseling services to victims, advocacy, how to help a friend, and more.
Denim Day is an opportunity for the campus community to show their support for survivors of sexual assault and to raise awareness by wearing jeans. A jeans drive will take place in the residence halls to benefit Survival. Denim Day grew out of a decision made in 1999 by the High Court in Italy, which overturned the
conviction of a driving instructor who sexually assaulted his 18-year-old student on the side of a road during a driving lesson. The court declared that, because the victim wore tight jeans, the accused could not have removed them by himself, therefore the victim must have willingly participated. Women of the Italian legislature protested the decision by wearing jeans.
Also during Sexual Awareness Month, groups wanting to know more about what they can do to prevent sexual violence are urged to sign up for free Bystander Intervention training to be offered on campus during the 2012 fall semester. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, if interested.
For more information about Sexual Assault Awareness Month, contact Jenny Rabas, prevention specialist at VSAP, at 660-543-8015 or email email@example.com.