IU Student Government and Shattering the Silence, an IU organization for survivors of sexual violence, have come together to host several events April 2-6 in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The events are held on campus for students to show support toward sexual assault survivors.
IUSG and Shattering the Silence kicked off the week on Sunday by painting the bridge near the Neal Marshall building teal, which is the color for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. They also painted “Take Back the Night” to advertise a march which will take place Thursday in support of sexual assault survivors.
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Students are invited to the IUSG office across from the Whittenberger auditorium in the IMU to create posters 5-7 p.m. Tuesday for the Take Back the Night march.
IUSG and Shattering the Silence will host a clothesline project where students can hang an article of clothing toas a part of a protest art installation at 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. The colors of the clothing will represent distinct types of violence and students can write messages on their own clothing to stand with survivors. Participants will meet at the clock next to Woodburn Hall, according to IUSG Instagram account.
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“Our events this week really bring and show the support there is on this campus” Kate Bangert, co-president of Shattering the Silence said. She is the co-president alongside Madison Smith.
IUSG and Shattering the Silence posted Teal heart-shaped signs around campus with statistics and messages about sexual assault.
The final event this week is the Take Back the Night march, which will take place 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday. The march will begin at the Sample Gates and will move around campus. The event will also feature a candlelight vigil and two keynote speakers, Nicole Kousaleos and Nicole Santiuste. Kousaleos is a professor at IU who has researched sexual violence, recovery, and gender violence, and Santiuste is an intern for IUSG.
“I really want to make other students feel heard and that this isn’t a rare occasion, this is unfortunately common on campus,” Santiuste said.
Santiuste said as a student of color, she felt there is not a lot of racial representation when it relates to sexual violence awareness. One of her goals, along with other members involved in this week's event, is to emphasize that minorities are also affected by sexual assault and deserve to feel seen.
“As a student survivor myself, I feel like the one thing I want people to take back from these events is that you’re not alone,” Visannya Saluja, co-director of the Sexual Violence Prevention Committee of IUSG, said.