Dear University of Utah Campus Community,
We hope that you have had a successful and enjoyable spring semester. As you may know, April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and the Center for Student Wellness is excited to share the various events and resources we are promoting this month in order to further spread awareness of campus sexual assault and support survivors. Across the United States, SAAM is used as a month of awareness for individuals to raise awareness of sexual violence, how to prevent it and how to support those who are affected by it.
Across the United States, sexual violence affects millions of Americans. Every 68 second, an American is sexually assaulted. Among these individuals, the younger population, women, gender and racial minorities are disproportionally affected; but it can happen to anyone, anytime and anywhere. On college campuses particularly, sexual violence is more prevalent than other crimes. These acts of sexual violence can include harassment, assault, stalking, coercion, rape, etc; with most acts being committed by acquaintances rather than strangers. These can have physiological, emotional and physical effects on survivors. These effects aren’t always easy to deal with, but with the right help and support they can be managed.
As co-chairs of Center for Student Wellness’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month programming, our goal is to raise awareness and promote education about sexual assault, promote consent and safe sex practices and show support for victims and survivors. We have chosen the theme “We See U. We Believe U.” This campaign shares our office’s promise to believe, listen and support survivors. Through our events this month, we hope that you will join us in recognizing signs of sexual assault, calling in unhealthy and dangerous behaviors and helping to create a community of support for victims and survivors.
We will be hosting events on campus to raise awareness of sexual assault prevention, share education on how to better support survivors and help members of community connect socially and work together to advocate for change within our community. Please be sure to check out our Instagram @uofuwellness for more information on the workshops and interactive events offered by our office throughout the month.
We can all do our part in becoming someone’s ally, reducing the prevalence of sexual assault on campus and making our campus safer in terms of primary and secondary preventions. We can all support others in our community simply by listening, believing and supporting survivors. Together, we can advocate for change and ensure that our community is safer and more supportive for all.
Please use the following hashtags to follow along and share your involvement online: #WeSeeU #WeBelieveU #USAAM23
Lex Cooley and Melody Liu
Center for Student Wellness