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Sexual Assault Awareness Month educates on harassment, human trafficking, and prison violence

April 12, 2013

According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice, between 20 and 25 percent of women will experience a completed or attempted rape during their college career. Drake’s Office for Sexual Violence Response, the UNICEF student organization, and the Women’s Studies Program plan to raise campus awareness of these serious issues during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in April.

This year’s SAAM campaign at Drake focuses on street harassment, human trafficking, and prison violence. Alysa Mozak, campus coordinator for sexual violence response and healthy relationship promotion, and student organizations including Student Activists for Gender Equality collaborated on several awareness and educational events for the campus and Des Moines communities. So far, the month’s activities have included information tables, a sexual assault prevention conference, and panel discussions about assault and human trafficking.

Upcoming SAAM events include:

April 17: Screening of The Grey Area, 6–8 p.m., Sussman Theater, Lower Olmsted Center
The Grey Area is an intimate look at feminism behind bars. The film follows a group of female inmates at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women in Mitchellville, and examines their issues within the criminal justice system. After the screening, there will be a panel discussion with the film’s director, Noga Ashkenazi, and community experts in substance abuse and domestic violence.

This event is co-sponsored by the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. Admission for the event is $10 for the general public, and a $5 suggested donation for Drake students. Buy tickets online at www.ppheartland.org/IowaEvents or purchase tickets at the door.

April 18: Polk County “Take Back the Night” Rally, 5:30–8 p.m., Riverplace Center, 2309 Euclid Avenue, Des Moines
Take Back the Night is a national, annual rally held to honor, support, and advocate for victims of sexual violence. This uplifting experience will feature speakers, information booths, and refreshments. This event is free and open to the public.

April 25-26: Clothesline Project, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Helmick Commons on the Drake University campus
The Clothesline Project is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. The shirts are hung on a clothesline to demonstrate the problem of violence against women. This event is free and open to the public.