WGAC to host events in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Matt Smith

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the calendar is stocked with opportunities to learn and heal.

Colorado State University’s Women and Gender Advocacy Center has events for everyone to take part in the effort to end interpersonal violence. This year’s calendar has projects “honoring survivors’ experiences and celebrating their healing,” said Kristy Kumar, Assistant Director of Education Programming at the WGAC.

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“Some folks when they think of Sexual Assault Awareness Month they can land in different ways,” Kumar said. “It’s either too close to home or it seems so far away.”

For all genders, survivors or not, there are events with you in mind.

Survivor Photovoice Project, April 4

Kimberley Breslin, a junior social work student, helps survivors of interpersonal violence heal through storytelling. The Auxillary Gallery of the LSC will host their portraits and stories opening at 5 p.m. Aside from providing an outlet for survivors to share their stories, the Photovoice Project also aims to combat the stigma of sexual assault. 

Secondary Survivors Workshop, April 5

This event is directed towards the friends and family of gender-based violence survivors. It can be hard to help heal a victim of sexual assault, and even harder to understand the extent of the trauma. In Eddy 103 from 5–8 p.m., learn how such trauma affects the brain and methods of support. The workshop requires pre-registration to attend, so email wgac@colostate.edu for more information or to be put on the list.

For more information visit wgac.colostate.edu.

#MeToo & Men, April 9

The #MeToo movement has radically changed how survivors of interpersonal violence are heard. At this Men in the Movement event, learn how both genders can actively participate. The doors to LSC 304 open at 5:30 p.m.

Alt. Break Digital Shorts & Panel, April 12

This short film screening will be shown at the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art. 

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“Best for those who want to learn more about sexual assault can go to the digital shorts panel,” Kumar said. All the films are “made by survivors of interpersonal violence on campus.”

At the following panel discussion and dinner, engage with the filmmakers on ending the silence around violence. The screening opens at 5 p.m.

#MeToo & Radical Self-Love, April 18

The second #MeToo event of the month is intended for both survivors and those close to survivors of sexual violence. Stations throughout the LSC Cherokee Ballroom explore activities for healing and coping, such as therapy dogs, yoga, massages and more. 

The door opens at 5 p.m. and dinner is complimentary. 

Some folks when they think of Sexual Assault Awareness Month they can land in different ways,” Kumar said. “It’s either too close to home or it seems so far away.” -Kristy Kumar, Assistant Director of Education Programming at the WGAC

Consent Turns Me On Carnival, April 19

The CTMO Carnival is another of the WGAC’s staple Sexual Assault Awareness Month events. This popular expo will pack the Durrell Center with dozens of consent-themed games such as last year’s Cards Against Sexual Assault, Consent Jenga and a sex toy memory game, to name a few. Winners may get free shirts. 

The carnival is “tailored for residence hall students to come and encourage conversations around consent and sex positivity in a way that’s actually fun and engaging,” Kumar said.

The carnival runs from 6–8 p.m.

Take Back The Night, April 26

The biggest WGAC event of the month will be the “Take Back the Night” march and rally, part of a global foundation aimed at ending sexual abuse and all other forms of interpersonal violence, according to the TBTN website.

“This is an internationally recognized rally and protest,” Kumar said. “It creates an atmosphere of empowerment while raising awareness about sexual violence.”

Beginning at the Sutherland Community Garden of the LSC, survivors of abuse will speak out at the open mic before marching through Old Town. 

The keynote speaker at this year’s TBTN will be Lauren Chief Elk, an activist and educator who is renown for a social media movement advocating income equality. Recently Chief Elk co-founded the Save Wiyabi Project, an initiative to decolonize the anti-violence movement, according to their website.

The rally begins at the Sutherland Community Garden at 6 p.m. and the keynote speech when the march ends in Old Town. 

Collegian reporter Matt Smith can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @latvatalo.