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TSTC Wraps Up Month Long Observance of Sexual Awareness Month

Thursday, April 24, 2014
By Eladio Jaimez

ShoesTexas State Technical College’s office of Support Services and the Counseling Department concluded a month-long campaign observing Sexual Assault Awareness Month with a couple more events this week.

Support Services and the Counseling Department partnered with the Family Crisis Center this week to host the Denim Day and In Her Shoes events to bring awareness to sexual assault.

Equity Advocate Anna Cortez said these types of events are important in order to educate both men and women about the issue.

“It brings awareness to the topic and to the resources available to victims,” Cortez said. “It’s important that students know how to get help, where to go for help, and how to help if they know someone who has been a victim.”

Denim Day is celebrated to honor a young woman who was raped by her driving instructor in Italy, Cortez said. The Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the victim’s jeans were on too tight and helped the rapist remove them, thus implying consent, Cortez said.

“Now Denim Day is celebrated as a sign of solidarity,” Cortez said.

The In Her Shoes event encourages men to wear heels and walk around campus passing out literature educating people about sexual assault. This event was organized by the Counseling Department.

A couple weeks ago, Sexual Assault Awareness Month was kicked off with the Fifth Annual Sexual Assault Awareness Gathering and Silent Walk across campus to raise awareness of sexual assault and distributed information to onlookers. The group met at the LRC’s Orientation Room where Harlingen City Commissioner Mike Mezmar read a proclamation declaring April Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Harlingen on behalf of the city. Mezmar also sits on the board of the Family Crisis Center.

A group of approximately 60 supporters walked from the LRC through the Student Center, the cafeteria and through the mall. Along the way, the group held signs that read different facts about sexual assault.

“We hope to get students thinking of sexual assault as something that affects everyone,” Cortez said. “We want them to understand that ending sexual violence is a community effort. It’s not just someone else’s problem. At all the events we will be hosting throughout the month we are hoping students leave with a little more knowledge on risk reduction, consent, and bystander intervention.”

For more information, go to website at http://www.tstc.edu/harlingentitleix.

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