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Sexual Assault Awareness Month Programs Seek to Educate and Prevent Sexual Violence

Eight events to be held from March 30 through April 27.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 3-28-2016

Mankato, Minn. – April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month throughout the United States, and the Violence Awareness and Response Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato is holding eight events intended to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals about prevention of sexual violence.

All the events are free and open to the public. To get involved or for more information about Sexual Assault Awareness Month at Minnesota State Mankato, contact Laura Schultz at or 507-389-5127.

“Give Back the Night”

  • Wednesday, March 30, 5-7 p.m., Lincoln Lounge, Centennial Student Union

• Prevention is not possible without the work and voices of men who are willing to stand in solidarity against sexual violence. This event will be similar to the “Take Back the Night” rallies that have been hosted on campuses and in communities for many years, with the main difference being that the scheduled speakers will be centered around men and masculine-identified folks who will speak to the importance of men’s involvement in addressing toxic masculinity and ending gender-based violence.

“How to Help a Friend”

  • Monday, April 4, 7 p.m., Preska Residence Community 126

• “How to Help a Friend” is geared toward students who may have questions about sexual violence. It’s specifically a time for students to ask questions to a panel about how they can help or what happens if behavior gets reported, where to report, what the investigation process looks like, what discipline and interim measures might look like, and similar questions. Panel members include VARP coordinator, affirmative action director, University security officer, CADA prevention specialist. The discussion will be moderated by a hall director.

“Sexual and Relationship Violence” presented by OutFront

  • Tuesday, April 5, 5 p.m., Centennial Student Union 201

• Eva Wood, anti-violence program director from OutFront Minnesota, will lead a discussion on the frequency of and resources available for LGBTQA-identified survivors of hate/bias violence, sexual violence and intimate partner violence, as well as important pieces of information needed for future sexual assault and intimate partner violence advocates. Each year OutFront Minnesota Community Services assists more than 800 people affected by anti-LGBTQ bias crimes or domestic violence.

“Let’s Taco ‘Bout Consent” Consent Open House

  • Tuesday, April 12, 1-3 p.m., Morris Hall 210

• This session will educate about consent with interactive games, food, button-making and discussions. The first 40 attendees get a free taco-in-a-bag.

“Violence-Free Zone Training”

  • Friday, April 22, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Centennial Student Union 238

• This training will address sexual violence and help attendees learn about response and referral tools when confronted with these issues. The presentation will contain information about sexual violence, which may prove as a trigger for some attendees. Registration is required, as space is limited. RSVP to Laura Schultz at

“Sex Positive Feminism” with Jennifer Pritchett

  • Tuesday, April 26, 6-7:45 p.m., Centennial Student Union 201

• What is sex positivity? How does that intersect with feminism? What is a sex-positive feminist definition of consent? What is feminist pornography? Sex educator Jennifer Pritchett (owner of Smitten Kitten) will discuss those questions and more.

“Denim Day Photo”

  • Wednesday, April 27, noon, meet in front of Centennial Student Union Ballroom

• In the 1990s, an 18-year-old girl was forcefully raped in Italy. The 45-year-old perpetrator was convicted of rape and sentenced to jail. However, the Italian Supreme Court dismissed the case “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex.” Within a matter of hours women in the Italian Supreme Court took immediate action and protested by wearing jeans to work. The protest has continued every year since and has become known as Denim Day. On this day, jeans are worn as a visible means of protest against rape myths. More information is available here.

“Take Back the Night”

  • Wednesday, April 27, 6 p.m., Plaza outside of Mankato Place Mall

• This event works to honor those who have been victims or survivors of sexual violence and will consist of a speak-out, a rally and a march around downtown Mankato. The goal is to break the silence around sexual violence, show support for survivors and talk about ways to be part of the solution. To get information on how to volunteer at the event, please contact Laura at

Planning and implementation of these programs was made possible with assistance from: Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Residential Life, the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, the Committee Against Domestic Abuse, the Minnesota State Mankato student group “Men Against Violence,” the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX, the LGBT Center and Student Health Services.

About the Minnesota State Mankato Violence Awareness and Response Program
The Violence Awareness and Response Program (VARP) provides a safe, supportive space for students and others affiliated with Minnesota State Mankato. The Violence Awareness and Response Program’s mission is to reduce the pervasiveness and effect of sexual violence, domestic/relationship violence, and stalking.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,193 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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