College community brings sexual assault awareness to campus

May 02, 2017

As part of the larger, nation-wide effort, Lees-McRae College joined as a supporting member of Sexual Assault Awareness Month through various events and discussions across campus.

Completed through a partnership between Lees-McRae community service-based sorority, Delta Zeta Nu, and OASIS, a local non-profit that serves survivors of sexual and domestic violence, individuals kicked off the month with the nation-wide Clothesline Project.

On April 10 and 11, participants created a visual display involving art on a total of 29 T-shirts. Those T-shirts were hung on a clothesline in Swank Park and MacDonald Dining Hall.

The Clothesline Project is a national campaign started in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women, according to the Clothesline Project website. Survivors of physical, sexual and emotional violence create T-shirts to be viewed by the public as a testimony to the problem of interpersonal violence, but many of those who stand in solidarity also create T-shirts.

Starting the week of April 17, members of Campus Life, college faculty and the local community came together to bring “Tea Week” to campus.

Tea Week featured presentations, films and games in order to learn about a variety of topics related to sex, sexuality and gender. 

Some of the events discussed consent, sexual assault in a college setting, the science of gender selection, the Bible and sexuality, sex trivia, evolutionary sexual conflict and a screening of Audrie & Daisy–a 2016 documentary about three cases of rape.

"This year’s Tea Week was a great movement in the right direction to improve sexual assault awareness on campus,” Tea Week participant and Lees-McRae student Ivanna Knox said. “Having the events definitely helped to get people thinking about this issue and I can only hope the event becomes more successful in following years.”

National Sexual Assault Awareness Month was created to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it. On April 1, 2001 the U.S. first observed Sexual Assault Awareness Month nationally.

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