Halloween Looming, Consent Remains Ever-Present
A new display was put in the Memorial Union discussing sexual consent with Halloween quickly approaching.
“The display addresses a pervasive rape myth that sexual assaults are the result of wearing proactive clothing,” Kelsey Keimig said, assistant director of sexual assault prevention and advocacy.
The display will remain standing through Halloween to remind students costumes do not mean consent and to watch out for each other when having fun this Halloween.
Chase Anderson, a freshman university studies student, said some students will not like the display and may find it a waste of time and resources, but it is important to remind people sexual assault is a “very real thing.”
The display was created by the Violence Prevention Educators to address part of rape culture.
To be part of the Violence Prevention Educators are selected through applications in the spring semester. Violence Prevention Educators completed 40 hours of training with experts and experience on sexual assaults along with program planning and presentation skills.
“It is a reminder that we all could use, whether you end up on the victim-side of one of these situation or not,” Britnee Surprenant, a junior pre-pharmacy major, said.
“Some students will be bothered by it, because it reminds them there are people out there who commit sexual violence and there are victims,” Suprenant said.
“Halloween can be a higher risk time for sexual assaults,” Keimig said. “Sexual assault has nothing to do with a victim or survivor’s appearance.”
Surprenant said sexual assault is about power and control and no matter what they are wearing, no one asks to be assaulted. People struggle with defining lines of consent and it’s a good reminder that clothing isn’t an aspect of that definition.
“This display will also help others step forward and help if they see someone in danger, because no matter what that person is wearing and especially if that person is not in a state where can consent to sex, they were not giving consent,” Surprenant said.
Anderson said the school has great things in effect to protect students from assaults and assisting students if they were assaulted.
Surprenant said she believes the display is beneficial for everyone and it is in a place most students pass through at least once daily. It is widely viewed, giving it the most potential impact.
VPE provide awareness and education on relationship violence, interpersonal violence, stalking and sexual assault through events on campus such as Take Back the Night and the Clothesline Project.
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