Oregon State University will hold a number of events in April commemorating Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The month-long series begins April 8 with a screening of the documentary "Miss Representation" and culminates with the university's annual "Take Back the Night" event on April 29, during which students, staff, faculty and community members offer support for survivors of sexual assault and demonstrate that OSU does not condone sexual violence.

A full list of the April events can be found online at: http://studenthealth.oregonstate.edu/prevention-center/saam-2015

Kelsey Greer, OSU's sexual violence prevention coordinator, said recent media attention to campus sexual assault nationally has opened the doors for dialogue - not only for understanding the dynamics of sexual assault, but for what campuses can do to eradicate it.

"This attention has provided folks who work in the field of sexual violence prevention and survivor advocacy with a platform to build support and momentum for programming aimed at educating campus and surrounding communities in primary prevention efforts," Greer said.

OSU is working to make the most of the momentum that has been created in recent months, Greer said. The Alcohol, Drug, and Violence Prevention Center housed in Student Health Services is revitalizing the prevention education curriculum available to students, staff, and faculty. Additionally, partnerships have been forged with fellow campus departments and community organizations to better reach and meet student needs.

"The ADVPC is working to create curriculum that provides a holistic approach and understanding to sexual violence through engaging workshops and presentations," Greer said. "This programming will take a turn by discussing these topics through a truly preventive lens through discussions on consent, healthy relationships, and bystander intervention."

OSU is taking steps to address the needs of survivors of sexual assault, including the creation of an on-campus center called The Advocacy Center for Survivors of Sexual Violence. It will be housed in Student Health Services and resources will be available to survivors 24 hours a day.

The center will provide students with a sexual violence response advocate whose primary purpose will be to provide students with support and informed options following any sexual assault. "This person will not only provide services to students who have experienced a sexual assault, but sexual harassment, stalking, domestic and dating violence as well," Greer said. 

Services will also be available to individuals who have experienced trauma, whether they are student or staff. The advocate will play a key role in creating connections between survivors and the confidential services already available on campus such as Sexual Assault Support Services, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, and Counseling and Psychological Services; as well as provide options available to survivors who wish to report incidents, which include the Office of Equity and Inclusion and Oregon State Police.   

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Source: 

Kelsey Greer, 541-737-7880; Kelsey.greer@oregonstate.edu