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Start by believing
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The Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) at the University of Iowa hopes to raise public awareness and educate the community on preventing sexual violence during April, nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year's theme is "Start By Believing."
RVAP staff members encourage UI and local community members to be aware of and learn about sexual assault, especially during the month of April but also throughout the year.
During April, the "Start By Believing" campaign will be launched throughout Iowa City, including at UI Burge Residence Hall on Wednesday, April 4, UI Hillcrest Residence Hall on Wednesday, April 11, and the Iowa City campus of Kirkwood Community College on Wednesday, April 18.
Students are encouraged to stop by the "Start By Believing" displays to sign a pledge to believe survivors and play Jeopardy for a chance to win giveaways, while supplies last. The campaign highlights the fact that survivors often tell their story first to a friend or family member, whose reaction can make a difference in healing.
In addition to the "Start By Believing" campaign, other events include the following:
During the month of April, select bars downtown will use consent coasters in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Photo by Tim Schoon
"Clothesline Project" Thursday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., UI Pentacrest lawn. View a display of T-shirts created by victims/survivors or loved ones of sexual assault, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, hate crimes, and homicide.
Photo courtesy of Laurie Haag
"Take Back the Night" Tuesday, April 24th, at 6:30 p.m., on the UI Pentacrest lawn. A rally and march will take place supporting survivors of sex-related crimes and symbolically making the night safer for women and other marginalized groups.
Visit, www.rvap.org/pages/sexual_assault_awareness_month/# saam_2012 or www.uiowa.edu/~rvap/ for more information and a complete list of Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities.
All events are free and open to the public. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. For more information or special accommodations, contact the RVAP office in advance at 319-335-6001.
The 24-hour Rape Crisis Line number is 319-335-6000 or the Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline at 800-228-1625. RVAP is a full sexual assault victim services center offering information and free, confidential counseling, advocacy, and support to victims/survivors of sexual assault and harassment, stalking, and dating violence and their partners, friends, and family members.