April 21, 2018 9:58:02 PM
Mississippi University for Women's Counseling Center and Office of Dean of Students are raising awareness about sexual assault with a donation drive for Safe Haven and Denim Day set for Wednesday, April 25.
"Sexual assault is a growing epidemic on college campuses and needs to be addressed. Depression, social isolation and low self-esteem are common symptoms that victims of sexual assault face, which add more stressors to one's life. Students may find themselves or others in a sexual assault situation and need to know what services are available to them," said Sirena Cantrell, dean of students and Title IX coordinator at The W.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, only 30 percent of all sexual assault cases are reported to authorities. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) claims that every 107 seconds someone in America is sexually assaulted.
In an effort to raise awareness, the campus community is asked to donate items to Safe Haven, a nonprofit organization providing emergency shelter and crisis intervention to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the Golden Triangle. Participants are asked to donate the following:
All donations may be dropped off at the Counseling Center, the blue house on the corner of 11th Street and Fourth Avenue, or the Office of Dean of Students, fourth floor of Cochran Hall.
Students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in Denim Day Wednesday. For the past 19 years, Peace Over Violence has run its Denim Day campaign on a Wednesday in April to recognize Sexual Violence Awareness Month.
The campaign was originally triggered by an Italian Supreme Court ruling where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim.
Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and activism surrounding it. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. In this rape prevention education campaign, community members, elected officials, business people and students are asked to make a social statement by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against misconceptions surrounding sexual assault.
For more information about these activities, contact the Counseling Center at 662-329-7748.
Find additional information at Facebook @thewcounseling; Twitter @thewcounseling; and Instagram @thew_counseling.