April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the 2012 campaign — sponsored by NSVRC (National Sexual Violence Resource Center) — is focusing on healthy sexuality. This campaign encourages individuals and communities to talk about relationships and connections in order to prevent sexual violence. The more educated we are the better we can work together to prevent sexual violence.
During this month, let’s educate ourselves on what we can do to prevent sexual assault. The most dangerous myth to believe is “it can’t happen to me.” In fact, 1 in 4 college women experience unwanted sexual contact meeting the definition of rape or attempted rape. Sit down, have lunch, and talk with your friends during this awareness month.
What you can do: Tips from the STRIVE campaign and the CWC on campus
- Protect yourself. Try to avoid walking alone at night, leaving drinks unattended, and getting so drunk that you are unaware of your surroundings. The University offers the SNAP escort system to give you a ride anywhere on campus for free at night time.
- Be assertive. Set limits and communicate them clearly with your partner. Just because you may have done something before doesn’t mean you have to do it again if you don’t want to.
- Avoid victim-blaming. Offer your support and encouragement to the victim.
- Refuse to support rape culture. Some things you say could support violence as an expression of power or masculinity, by doing this you might be helping maintain an acceptance of sexual violence.
Helpful Campus and Community Resources:
- Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC): (352) 392-1575
- University Police Department (UPD) – Victim Services: (352) 392-1111 (24/7) or (352) 392-5648 (M-F, 8a-5p)
- Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Program – UPD: (352) 392-1409
- Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol (SNAP): (352) 392-SNAP 
- AAREST (Acting Against Rape Every Student Task Force): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center: (352) 264-6760 or (866) 252-5439 (toll-free)
- Alachua County Crisis Center – Crisis Hotline: (352) 264-6789
- Peaceful Paths Domestic Abuse Network: (352) 377-8255
- STRIVE — Sexual Trauma/Interpersonal Violence Education
More: National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) website – www.nsvrc.org/saam