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Throughout the month of April, Lycoming College has made one thing clear to its students: We are here for you. The month of April is internationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness month. Campus sexual assault is a global issue and one of special interest and attention on college campuses across the country. In recognition and support of Sexual Assault Awareness month, the College held multiple events to help educate the campus community on sexual assault preventions, to show support for all survivors of sexual assault, and to bring awareness of victim support services available to students.
Kristina Travis, project coordinator at Lycoming College, worked with students, faculty and staff on planning the programming to occur throughout April. Turning Lycoming Teal was the aim of a number of the month’s events. Teal is the official color of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Programs included placing teal chalk around campus for the community to write messages of support to survivors and teal ribbons were tied around trees with statistics about sexual assault.
The clothesline event involved students and members of the campus community making t-shirts to reflect messages of support or tales of survival. Wise Options, victim services provider, came to campus to inform students about their free and confidential services. Wise Options’ trained staff and volunteers provide immediate support and information to support clients in need and offer follow-up assistance to cope with ongoing related issues.
The campus also wrote letters to survivors and posted them around campus to let people who may be suffering in silence know that Lycoming will support them in any way they need. Denim Day also an internationally recognized event will be held on April 24. Denim Day has its origins in a court case in Italy in the Supreme Court overturned the original conviction and stated because her jeans were tight the victim had to have helped the perpetrator remove them which constituted consent. Worldwide, Denim Day participants aim to show the world that clothing choices do not provide consent.
"It's really nice to know that there are people who care about you and telling you, 'Hey, if something happened, we're here for you,'" said Yasameen Almsari ’22.
“From the teal ribbons to the clothesline and every other activity, this campus is a visual representation of Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” said Travis. “It’s important that we make a bold statement to let people know that we support this issue in every way we can.”