The University of California, San Diego will recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) with several events throughout April. The activities, part of UC San Diego’s ongoing efforts to address sexual violence, are aimed at educating students, faculty and staff about sexual violence and to highlight campus resources for prevention, education and support.
At UC San Diego, the month has been commemorated with events since 2007.
“UC San Diego’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month events demonstrate our campus’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of sexual assault prevention, response and reporting,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “I encourage our campus community to participate in the various events, as they help ensure a safe, respectful and positive environment for our students, faculty and staff.”
The SAAM events include workshops on consent and how to support student survivors, as well as film screenings, special guest lectures and more.
“The series of events this year are themed ‘Be There,’” said Nancy Wahlig, director of CARE at Sexual Assault Resource Center. “The theme emphasizes the variety of ways someone can play a role in preventing sexual assault, and it encourages community members to act as a friend to support survivors, as a bystander to intervene and as a Triton to change the culture.”
The events throughout April encourage members of the UC San Diego community to take a stand against sexual violence and are co-sponsored by the Sexual Assault Awareness Month Coalition, which is comprised of several organizations and departments at UC San Diego including the Women’s Center and CARE at the Sexual Assault Resource Center, the campus’s independent confidential advocacy office, which was established more than 25 years ago.
A sampling of UC San Diego’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month events, which are free and open to the public, are below. For more information about the month of activities, click here.
- Circle of Truth, Beginning April 1, Outside of Price Center East Ballroom
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 the community.
- National Day of Action, April 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Library Walk, Blocks 1994-95
A table display will be set up to provide information and to display examples of action against sexual assault. Participants are encouraged to show how they can support survivors.
- “The Mask We Live In” Film Screening, April 12, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Middle of Muir
This film by the Representation Project follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s definition of masculinity. The screening will be followed by both male-identified and co-ed discussions. Admission is free. Light refreshments provided.
- Speak Up, Make Change with Sarah Mirk, April 21, noon to 1 p.m., The Forum, 4th Floor Price Center East
An afternoon with special guest speaker Sarah Mirk, online editor and author, who will talk about politically engaged journalism and how a culture of sexual assault is perpetuated by mainstream media.
- Denim Day, April 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Library Walk, Block 1994-95
The SAAM Denim Wall will be displayed on Library Walk. The campus community is encouraged to wear denim all day to show support for ending sexual violence.
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.