Safer campuses. Brighter futures. Prevent sexual assault.
That’s what the National Sexual Violence Resource Center is asking of our nation this April.
The U.S. first recognized April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in 2001. Since then, NSVRC and other sexual violence organizations have hosted campaigns each April to spread awareness about sexual trauma and to promote prevention of sexual assault. Each campaign usually has a specific focus within the spectrum of sexual violence.
This year, Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaigns are highlighting the epidemic of campus sexual assault and the growing need to improve university practices regarding this issue.
Many high profile cases of campus sexual assaults, such as those involving University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University, have spurred the White House to begin the It’s On Us campaign. This national campaign identifies that the responsibility of preventing sexual violence lies with all of us—not just sexual assault organizations like STAR.
These high profile cases have also inspired the making of The Hunting Ground, an in-depth documentary that explores the prevalence of sexual assault on campuses and the lack of support that survivors receive from their universities and communities. The Hunting Ground, which has gained many high accolades since its release in February, exposes the dark realities of this issue without apology.
STAR, along with LAFASA, LSU Women’s Center, LSU Student Government, and LSU Lighthouse Program, will be hosting a free screening of The Hunting Ground on LSU’s campus on Tuesday, April 21 at 6 p.m. A discussion panel will also take place immediately following the film. This event will provide an opportunity for the Baton Rouge community to learn about campus sexual assault and to engage in a dialogue about how to prevent sexual violence from occurring on and off our campuses.
Other SAAM events will take place in Baton Rouge through the end of April, such as Shine the Light on April 27.