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Vol State raises sexual assault awareness this October

Last updated on October 18, 2021

By Bailey Guy

Volunteer State Community College’s Office of Student Engagement and Support is directing activities to raise sexual assault awareness among students and staff this month. Among the activities are an art installation, a free copy of Chanel Miller’s book, “Know My Name” and the opportunity to pledge to consent. 

According to the Vol State Consent Pledge, “Nearly 18% of women and over 1% of men will experience sexual assault in their lives. Our goal is to lower and ultimately eliminate this statistic. If you have experienced sexual assault, please know it is never your fault.”

“We want our students, faculty, and staff to be informed and feel supported. This month we will have several opportunities for you to learn more, show your support, and share your story,” said Tiffany Zwart, coordinator of Student Support. 

From Oct. 18 – 22, there will be an art installation in the Thigpen Library Rochelle Gallery titled “What Were You Wearing?” The installation will feature anonymous testimonies of college-aged sexual assault victims and what they were wearing when it happened.

“This is to shed light on how often times there’s victim blaming that’s used to shun victims who may not have the support they need. So this is to reverse the idea of ‘well you were asking for it’ and ‘what were you wearing’ and all the questions people ask instead of just believing the survivor and having empathy,” said Hevgir Tayip, Student Government Association president.

Students can receive a free copy of Chanel Miller’s book, “Know My Name” during The Well event taking place Wednesday, Oct. 20. The event will be in the Rochelle Plaza and will last from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Miller was sexually assaulted at Stanford University in 2015.

“Victims need to be heard first, not questioned,” said Tayip.

The consent pledge was sent to every student email Friday, Oct. 1. Everyone who completes the pledge will receive a free t-shirt or camping mug. To claim the items, students need to take a screenshot of the last page showing that their response was submitted. They then need to show the screenshot at the Fall Festival Food Day event Thursday, Oct. 21.

“To report sexual misconduct to the institutional authorities, contact our Title IX Officer at titleixcoordinator@volstate.edu. If you have been affected by assault or domestic violence, please know we have support for you. You may receive counseling free of charge through our WellPass Counseling Program,” said Zwart.

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