The Center was busy during Sexual Assault Awareness Month this year. We had four events throughout April. On April 11th, we worked with students in the Women and Gender Studies program to hold a resource fair bringing together local community partners and groups at WVU to spread awareness of and resources for sexual assault victimization.
Then, on April 13th the Research Center on Violence sponsored a sexual assault awareness panel discussion bringing together Dr. Danielle Davidov, an Assistant Professor in Public Health and Emergency Medicine, Dr. Amanda Sanchez, a Visiting Assistant Professor of Criminology, Sam Wilmoth, a Title IX Investigator at WVU, and Maggie von Dolteren, a Sexual Assault Prevention Educator with the RDVIC of West Virginia. The presenters discussed their role as a researcher and/or practitioner working with victims of sexual assault and answered questions from the audience.
Our big spring awareness event was the Clothesline Project at WVU. The Clothesline Project is a nationally recognized awareness event for various forms of interpersonal violence, including sexual and physical violence and hate motivated violence. The event allows victims of these crimes to anonymously share any part of their experience on the back of a t-shirt. The t-shirts are then displayed in a public place along a clothesline. The Center cosponsored the event with our new student organization, the Violence Research and Awareness Association (VRAA) on April 19th. We had shirts written by WVU students, West Virginia Wesleyan students, and women from the Hazelton Women’s Correctional Facility. Overall, the Center and VRAA collected over 50 shirts and displayed the shirts all day in Woodburn Circle at WVU. This powerful event captured the attention of students and staff as well as the local news. The article from the DA can be found here and the WDTV interview with Center Graduate Assistant Katie Burnham can be found here. There is also a video of the event that can be watched here.
The final event that the Center and VRAA attended was Walk a Mile in Their Shoes sponsored by the RDVIC of West Virginia. The April 23rd event encouraged people to partake in a mile long walk to raise awareness for interpersonal violence. Our affiliates were happy to support the RDVIC at this event to round out Sexual Assault Awareness Month.