The Importance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month

By: Adriana Miranda

TW: sexual assault, violence

Did you know that 1 in every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape? But this doesn’t just affect women. Men who are students and 18-24 years old are FIVE times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than men of the same age who are not students. Transgender, genderqueer and nonconforming (TGQN) students are also at higher risk than other college students (source for all of these here). And these are just reported cases; who knows how much larger the number is for people who don’t ever talk about their assault? That being said, SA is something that affects us all. If you have friends who are women or TGQN, there’s a high chance they’ve experienced some form of SA. If you have male friends there is a chance they’ve experienced the same.

This is why SA Awareness Month (SAAM) exists. It’s a time for us to come together to raise awareness and to take action against sexual assault.

The Women’s Center is dedicated to spreading awareness about SA and this SAAM. As part of our programming, we participated in Denim Day on April 26, 2022. Denim Day began as the result of a court case that victim-blamed a woman for her assault. Why? The Italian Supreme Court ruled that her jeans were too tight for her rapist to remove by himself, so she must have helped remove them.  This past Wednesday, we also shared a“What Were They Wearing” display to share the stories of SA victims, heard from a survivor speaker, and finished out the event with healing arts and snacks as a break from the heavy subject matter.

 

Reflecting on Rape Culture

by Matiara Huff

Last week, we celebrated Denim Day by raising awareness about rape culture at UMKC, complete with a denim display and information about rape culture. But if this topic is new to you or you just don’t know how to talk about it

March Against Rape Culture and Gender Inequality – 2
https://www.flickr.com/photos/chasecarter/

yet, here is a video by Kat Blaque explaining what rape culture is. #StayWoke

When I first learned about rape culture, I was so overwhelmed. Though I knew that sexual violence was a very important aspect of feminism, I didn’t quite realize the severity of this situation until I learned about rape culture. At first, I kind of felt like it was all just a waste of time. That rape culture was too deeply embedded into the global society, that there was no way to change it. But there is. It’s as simple as educating yourself. Because the discussion about sexual violence is changing, people are realizing how often offenders are getting away with their crimes, and that begins with educating ourselves. Rape Culture is not a necessary part of our society. We can and we will change it.