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Sexual Assault Awareness Month at UIUC

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and many students on the University of Illinois campus are doing their part to show their support.

Student Affairs and the Office of inclusion and intercultural relations at the university have activities throughout the whole month of April for people to participate in and raise awareness for sexual assault. The list of activities can be found on their website. Their website says, “The University of Illinois and the community at large annually plan a host of events to support survivors and encourage bystanders to intervene in what still remains a local, national, and international social problem.”

Some of the events include screenings of movies and workshops. The event that draws the most attention is the Stride for Survivors; formally know as Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. This is where males walk around the quad wearing heels. They get a brief glimpse of what it is like to be in women’s shoes, literally. This event gets people to talk about the dangers of sexual violence and gender relations in general.

The Women’s Resource Center is always open to hearing new ideas, events, or topics to be discussed during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. To get involved, contact Molly Mclay at mclay1@illinois.edu or call the Women’s Resource Center at (217) 333-3137.

Another organization that works with sexual health not just during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, but year round, is Sexual Health Peers. The president of the club, Caroline Quintanilla, said, “Our group really promotes some key things including: using protection, getting tested regularly, knowing and practicing your own preferences and boundaries, and understanding your options when it comes to sex.”

Caroline talked about the importance of using protection regularly to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies. If there ever were a problem, Sexual Health Peers strongly advocates getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases. “It’s really important to our group to release the stigma behind getting tested,” Quintanilla said.

It is simple to get tested here on campus. McKinley Health Center will do a quick and easy test if inquired to do so. According to the Illini Union Website, every two weeks students can pick up a condom pack, all they have to do is show their I-Card.

“Also, understanding that no one should pressure anyone to do something that they don’t want to do, and if that does happen, talking to someone you trust. We also advocate that everyone know that sex can be viewed in different ways for everyone,” Quintanilla said.

Sexual Health Peers have done their part to support Sexual Assault Awareness Month. They have sold t-shirts, put on workshops, and made denim squares for denim day- a day to raise awareness of rape and sexual assault.

To get involved with Sexual Health Peers, contact the advisor Kim Rice at krice@illinois.edu or call 217-333-2714 for more details. Sexual Health Peers accepts new members at the beginning of both Fall and Spring semesters.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is widely supported across the campus of University of Illinois. There are multiple ways to get involved and show support.            

I am a junior at the University of Illinois studying journalism and communications. I love to write about news and sports. In my free time I like watching netflix and sports.
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