The University of California, San Diego campus community will recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) throughout April to raise awareness about sexual violence and educate communities and individuals about their role in prevention. At UC San Diego, the month has been commemorated with events since 2007.
“It’s important that we continue to raise awareness about sexual assault prevention and the campus resources we provide for students, staff and faculty,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “I appreciate the hard work of our campus members, from numerous organizations and departments, who organized the many events and programs for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.”
The series of events, themed “Teal is the New Black,” include Take Back the Night, the SAAM 3-K walk/run and film screenings. They are co-sponsored by the Sexual Assault Awareness Month Committee, which is comprised of a number of organizations and departments at UC San Diego including the Women’s Center and CARE: Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education at the Sexual Assault Resource Center.
Though the theme “Teal is the New Black” is a fun play on words from the popular Netflix series, “Orange is the New Black,” and it borrows from the saying that nothing is as timeless as “a little black dress,” it was selected to convey the pressing need to end sexual violence in all its forms.
“When creating the theme for this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we wanted to convey to our community that working towards sexual assault prevention and awareness is not something we do for one month, nor is it a trend that will disappear overnight,” said Nancy Wahlig, director of CARE at the Sexual Assault Resource Center. “We work constantly and strategically to educate our community on sexual assault prevention…Teal has been nationally designated as the color to represent SAAM, so ‘Teal is the New Black’ is our way of saying that ‘sexual assault awareness and prevention should not go out of style until we have completely eradicated all forms of sexual violence.’”
A sampling of UC San Diego’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month events and details are below. For more information about the month of activities, click here.
- Sexual Assault Circle of Truth, beginning April 1, Price Center East second floor: Students, staff, faculty and community members are invited to pin a ribbon on the “Circle of Truth” wreath, located on the second floor of Price Center East, if they or someone they know has been sexually assaulted. An annual tradition, the wreath will be on display throughout the month of April. Typically, it is filled with hundreds of pins by the end of the month and raises awareness about sexual assault and its impact on our community.
- “The Purity Myth” Film Screening, 6:30 to 8 p.m., April 14, the Women’s Center: “The Purity Myth,” based on Jessica Valenti’s book of the same name, centers around the societal focus of linking morals to sexual behavior, rather than values like honesty, kindness and altruism. Following the film, there will be a discussion on the various views of sexuality.
- 4th Annual SAAM 3K, 5 to 7:30 p.m., April 16, Library Walk: Members of the campus and surrounding community are invited to take a stand against sexual violence in a fun 3K walk/run through campus. The event will feature music, raffle prizes and refreshments. Registration is $5 for UC San Diego students and $10 for community members. All proceeds benefit support group activities for UC San Diego students that have been affected by sexual assault. Registration at the event starts at 5 p.m. Pre-register here.
- Gender Buffet: ‘Fifty Shades of No,’ noon to 1:30 p.m., April 17, The Women’s Center: These interactive workshops take place every Friday. Throughout the month of April, they will focus on moving toward a “culture of consent.” The Gender Buffet on April 17 will promote discussion on the impact the “50 Shades of Grey” book and movie is having on the issues of sexual and dating violence.
- Take Back the Night, 6:15 to 9 p.m., April 22, Price Center Plaza: UC San Diego’s commemoration of Sexual Assault Awareness Month culminates with Take Back the Night, which is recognized annually with hundreds of events held in over 30 countries. The event will feature entertainment, speakers and open mic testimonials from survivors of sexual assault. The event provides a forum for the UC San Diego community to speak up against sexual assault and support survivors. This year’s Take Back the Night keynote speaker is Aishah Shahidah Simmons, an award-winning feminist, independent documentary filmmaker, writer, lecturer and activist who is based in Philadelphia, PA.
Events observing Sexual Assault Awareness Month have been supported by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) since 2001. In 2009, President Barack Obama became the first United States president to nationally proclaim April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
For more information on UC San Diego’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month events, go to http://saam.ucsd.edu.