One in three women are raped in their lifetime and, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, an American is raped or sexually assaulted once every two minutes.
West Virginia Universitys Sexual Assault Prevention and Education program, as well as various campus groups, are calling for an end to the violence through education and prevention activities surrounding Sexual Assault Awareness Week April 4-8.
Throughout the week, there will be activities to educate WVU and community members about the issue, said Deb Strouse, WVU sexual assault prevention educator. These range from a mock trial of a drug-facilitated sexual assault to theTake Back the Nightrally to end violence against women. The Clothesline Project is also among the weeks activities.
The mock trial will take place at 8 p.m. Monday, April 4, and again at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, in G24 Eiesland Hall. Admission is free.
The simulated trial is scripted to make students and community members aware of sexual assault, particularly acquaintance rape, according to Strouse. Jury members are selected from the audience to make the trial as real as possible, and actors are WVU students either taking classes or volunteering with the sexual assault prevention office.
The Clothesline Project will be on display 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, and Wednesday, April 6, in the Mountainlair. Victims of violence share their personal stories by designing t-shirts and hanging them on a clothesline.
The exhibit celebrates their transformation from victim to survivor in a powerful statement of solidarity, Strouse said.
The project began in 1990 when members of the Cape Cod Womens Agenda hung a clothesline in Hyannis, Mass., with 31 shirts designed by survivors of assault, rape and incest, she said. Women viewing the clothesline came forward to create shirts of their own and the line just kept growing.
The week will conclude with the Take Back the Night Rally at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in front of the Mountainlair, with speakers at approximately 7 p.m. at Lutheran Campus Ministry at 1497 University Avenue. The rally is organized by the Female Equality Movement student organization.
The event is designed to bring awareness and empowerment to individuals and to inspire action that will bring end to violence against women,Strouse said.
Sexual Assault Awareness Week is an annual event on the WVU campus. The Universitys Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Office offers presentations and programs, such as Sexual Assault 101, to educate the WVU community on laws, statistics, high-risk behaviors, prevention, what to do in the aftermath of a sexual assault and communication issues.
In addition, Strouse coordinates Mentors in Violence Prevention, a group of WVU students who are trained to educate student groups about healthy relationships and violence prevention.
For more information about WVU s Sexual Assault Prevention and Education program, go tohttp://www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/shs/SAPEO/.