WISE, Ferris partner to offer events during Sexual Assault Awareness month

Passing Big Rapids City Hall, walkers head down Michigan Avenue during a previous Walk a Mile event for WISE during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year’s event is set for Saturday, April 21. The walk aims to raise awareness about sexual harassment and the scope of sexual violence on campus. (Pioneer file photo)

BIG RAPIDS — Every day, hundreds of people are affected by sexual violence, with an American being sexually assaulted every 98 seconds, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time to bring the conversation about sexual assault to the forefront and talk about its impacts on victims and society as a whole, said Jane Currie, executive director of Women’s Information Services Inc.

“The main thing this month is getting awareness out, spreading the word and speaking out to let survivors know there are people supporting them,” Currie said. “People who are impacted by sexual assault need to know there are resources for them and they aren’t alone.”

Throughout the month, WISE is partnering up with Ferris State University’s Title IV office to offer various activities and events as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The months kicks off with the “How to Help a Survivor Workshop” from 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3, at the University Center Ballroom 202B. The event, which also is in partnership with Wesley House, will offer a non-traditional worship service and a space to learn how to help support sexual assault survivors.

In partnership with Residence Life, there will be Bystander Workshops from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, and Wednesday, April 11. Tuesday’s event will be at North Hall, while Wednesday’s event will be at Bond Hall.

From 11 a.m. to noon, professional speaker Steve Thompson will give his “No Zebras, No Excuses: Realities of Sexual Aggression” presentation on Thursday, April 12, at the University Ballroom 202B. Thompson will discuss sexual aggression and methods to create a safer environment.

On Saturday, April 21, a “Walk-a-Mile” event will raise awareness about sexual harassment and the scope of sexual violence on campus. The event is from 2 to 4 p.m., beginning at the Student Recreation Centre on Ferris’ campus and concluding at North Quad. The event is partnering with Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity.

At the end of the month, from Monday, April 23, to Friday, April 27, there will be a “What Were You Wearing” exhibit at the University Center room 116. The exhibit explores stigmas and examines what survivors were wearing at the time of their assaults.

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Posted by Emily Grove

Emily is the Pioneer and Herald Review crime and court reporter, covering crime in both Mecosta and Osceola counties. She can be reached by e-mail at emily@pioneergroup.com or by phone at (231) 592-8362.

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