sixth annual Sexual Assault Awareness Week At St. Martin's

Saint Martin’s hosts  to end sexual violence in our communities. LACEY, Wash. —  At least one of every three women worldwide has been beaten, sexually assaulted or otherwise abused in her lifetime by a partner, relative, friend, stranger, employer and/or colleague, according to the Take Back the Night international program. Saint Martin’s University will issue its own call to action against these violent crimes during its sixth annual Sexual Assault Awareness Week, April 7- 11. The SAAM 2014 week will culminate Friday, April 11, with a unique event during which the audience can follow the stories of sexual assault survivors through an interactive activity and view a film that underscores the impact of sexual assault on a young survivor. All activities are free and open to the public.

“Every year, we try to incorporate new activities to encourage the entire Saint Martin’s and surrounding communities to adopt a pro-active, zero-tolerance culture so that we can one day eliminate these violent acts,” says Laurel Dube, director of Campus Life and the event organizer. “Also, for the second time, we are hosting the week’s popular Clothes Line Project in the afternoon and evening in order to more effectively involve our faculty, staff, students, alumni and neighboring community.”

The week’s activities will additionally include the annual Take Back the Night candlelight march, to be hosted Thursday, April 10, on the University’s Lacey campus.

The march is held at locations around the globe to demand the end of all forms of sexual violence. Bringing together survivors, their supporters and community members, Take Back the Night marches have empowered people of all ages, races, religions, backgrounds and genders to raise a collective voice against sexual assault for more than 30 years. The first documented Take Back the Night event in the U.S. occurred in October 1975, when citizens rallied in Philadelphia to protest the stabbing murder of Susan Alexander Speeth, a young microbiologist who was attacked as she was walking alone. The first international Take Back the Night took place in Belgium in March 1976 at The International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women. More than 2,000 women from 40 countries participated.

Emphasizing that the Saint Martin’s week of activities is not just for women, Dube strongly encourages men to participate in solidarity with all sexual assault survivors. “Men, of course, can be victims of sexual assault,” Dube says, “and we strongly encourage the men in our lives to demonstrate their love and support for everyone they treasure and would want to protect from sexual violence.”

More details of the events scheduled on campus throughout Sexual Assault Awareness Week are as follows:

March 30, 2014