Month of events, activities set to raise awareness of sexual assault and violence

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Campus and community collaborate to end violence

A month full of activities, performances, discussions, and films is scheduled for April designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) on campuses and communities across the country.

The events at UC Santa Cruz and in the Santa Cruz community are part of a nationwide effort to build awareness of sexual assault, dating violence and gender-based violence.

Friday, April 10, the film “The Hunting Ground” will be shown at the Nickelodean Theater in Santa Cruz, followed by a question and answer panel with representatives of law enforcement, victims advocates, activists, and UC Santa Cruz officials from the campus student conduct and Title IX offices.  Santa Cruz police victim’s advocate Julie Schneider will moderate.

“This is a great example of campus and community collaboration,” said Tracey Tsugawa,  Title IX officer at UC Santa Cruz. “It’s important that we raise awareness on these critical issues that our communities face.” Tsugawa’s office oversees the UC Santa Cruz effort to educate about, prevent, and investigate cases of sexual assault or gender-based violence.

“The Hunting Ground” is a documentary that takes a critical look at how some universities across the country have reacted to cases of sexual assault. It is one of several recent high-profile subjects that have raised public consciousness to campus sexual violence.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month comes as the University of California system implements a series of recommendations from the President’s Task Force on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault convened last year.

At UCSC, a new campus wide Coordinated Community Review Team for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Misconduct met for the first time last week.

The week of April 19-25 has been designated “Consent Week” on the UC Santa Cruz campus. Other SAAM activities on campus include joining a national day of action with  “Carry that Weight” Monday, April 13 at Quarry Plaza. Students, staff, and faculty plan to stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual and domestic violence by carrying mattresses together, an action taken by a Columbia University student who said the university failed to adequately address her charges of sexual assault.

The events are being coordinated by the UCSC offices of SAFE, Sexual Assault Facts and Education, and SHOP, Student Health Outreach and Promotion.

Tuesday, April 21, a workshop on “Violence in the Queer Community” is set for 7 p.m. at the Village Classroom.

The next day, Wednesday, April 22, Tsugawa, the campus Title IX officer, plans to meet with students and others for “Title IX and Dine” at 6 p.m.  at the Student Health Center Mural Room.

Thursday, April 23, at 8 p.m. Laci Green, a blogger, sex education educator and activist, will visit campus to speak on “Taking Down Rape Culture” at the College Nine/Ten multipurpose room.

Saturday, April 25, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, UCSC will partner with Monarch Services (www.monarchscc.org) to host "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes." The event wil help raise awareness of sexual assault by encouraging community members to literally walk one mile wearing women's high heels.  Details about the event and registration can be found at: http://wam2015.monarchscc.org/