“Every year one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday,” says Jasmin Enriquez, founder and director of Penn State’s Sexual Violence Awareness Week.
That could be one of your closest friends or even a roommate you’ve lived under the same roof as the past few years. You would think more people would be aware of such an alarming statistic, but most don’t know about the high prevalence of rape and sexual violence.
So how do we fix this? It all starts with education—and that’s where Penn State’s Sexual Violence Awareness Week comes in.
April 6-12th marks the 2nd annual Sexual Violence Awareness Week here at Penn State. Jasmine Enriquez, a senior majoring in Communications Arts and Sciences, is the original creator and brains behind the event. The idea to take action against sexual violence flourished back in August 2011 when Enriquez started taking CRIM 423, a class about Sexual and Domestic Violence. Being a rape survivor herself, she knew that there were others out there with similar experiences and wanted to prevent it from happening to more people.
“I think it’s unfortunately all too common, not only in colleges or Penn State, but all over the world. It’s important to recognize how prevalent and how much [sexual violence] is currently happening. People have stayed quiet and people need to address it so it stops and it is not hurting the people we care about,” Enriquez says.
Sexual Violence Awareness Week kicked off this past Saturday with the One Heart’s Lighting the Way Run, where 75 runners came out to the Business Building lawn to run either a 4K or 6K representing the statistic above. The race had a $10 entry fee that went directly to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. The student documentary “Unreported” was also shown in the Thomas building on Monday night. The rest of the week is lined up with events ranging from an expression gallery where survivors can be in a safe space, a mile walk where men don heels and a rock concert where bands battle to raise the most money for the Centre County Women’s Resource Center and 1 in 6.
Besides the events the special events on campus and downtown, Sexual Violence Awareness Week will be at the HUB everyday this week until Friday from 10am-3pm to show the world that there is no space and no tolerance for sexual violence here at Penn State or anywhere for that matter. So make sure to stop by to learn about consent and possibly score one of their awesome t-shirts!
• Take Back the Night: 6pm (Hosted and planned by Lambda Theta Alpha) Old Main
• Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: 12pm Boucke Steps (Men don a pair of heels and march against sexual violence)
• “Boys and Men Healing” Documentary: 7pm 111 Wartik
• Rock Against Rape: 3pm-7pm Heister Street
For more updates follow Sexual Violence Awareness Week on Twitter @OnlyWithConsent and Facebook.
And remember ladies and gents, Only Do It With Consent!
Photo courtesy of Jasmin Enriquez