This April, Western Kentucky University is coming together to celebrate Sexual Assault Prevention Month. The Counseling and Testing Center, Hope Harbor, and BRASS, Inc., is joining forces to put on events, spread awareness, and increase the prevention of sexual assault across WKU’s campus. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, college women aged 18 to 24 are three times more at risk for sexual violence. Sexual assault is problem across the country, especially on college campuses.
April was previously called Sexual Assault Awareness Month, but made the small switch to Sexual Assault Prevention month in the past few years. This small change supports a call to action for students, and brings the attention to ending sexual assault instead of just being aware of it. According to Ava Fergerson, this small change can make a big impact on the way people view the month.
“I thin it’s really important, particularly the word “prevention” because it calls people to action,” says Fergerson. Fergerson is a Hope Harbor volunteer, Gender and Women’s Studies Minor, and wrote her honors undergraduate thesis on the psychological affects of sexual assault on a female, WKU population.
This month hopes to encourage students to step forward and call out sexual assault and behaviors that are risk factors. Breanna Carter, a WKU Gender and Women’s Studies minor, says that April will provide students with a better understanding of what sexual assault really means.
“There are still so many people even today who have no idea what sexual assault even means,” says Carter.
The rest of the month is full of events, including Take Back the Night and the Vagina Monologues. The next event is a #MeToo Poetry Reading that takes place tomorrow, April 19th.