NIU’s Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ADEI) and Safe Passage join communities, workplaces and campuses across the country in hosting awareness and prevention events throughout the month of April, which is nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
“Sexual violence on college campuses has been an issue for many years,” stated Prevention Project Coordinator with ADEI, Allison Hurlburt. “It can be very difficult to process the trauma and access available resources, especially when you may know the person who harmed you.”
Approximately 51.1% of female victims of rape report being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance; for male victims, 52.4% report being raped by an acquaintance and 15.1% by a stranger.
In 2018 NIU received a grant from the Department of Justice. The Grant to Reduce Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking on Campus Program has allowed NIU to expand awareness and prevention programming on campus and to collaborate with community partners.
NIU has partnered with Safe Passage, DeKalb County’s domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center. Safe Passage provides free and confidential services to the community, including NIU students, faculty and staff. They offer counseling, medical advocacy, legal advocacy and other services to help survivors on their healing journey.
“Our month of awareness programs kicks off with a guest speaker talking to both students and employees about how to handle rape culture and how to support students on campus,” said Hurlburt. “We’ll conclude the month with a Walk a Mile event at the East Lagoon on campus.”
Another event taking place during Sexual Assault Awareness Month is the return of the Swept Under the Rug exhibit.
“Safe Passage is excited to bring Swept Under the Rug downtown DeKalb,” said Kendal Harvell from Safe Passage. “The exhibit, created by sexual assault survivors, aims to educate the community on the widespread issue of sexual violence while amplifying the voices of those impacted.”
The exhibit will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 263 E. Lincoln Hwy, DeKalb. More information can be found online at www.safepassagedv.org.
Please join ADEI and Safe Passage for these events and more. Visit the Sexual Misconduct Response and Prevention website for event descriptions and registration.