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President Wiewel Declares April “Sexual Assault Awareness Month”
Author: Scott Gallagher
Posted: April 8, 2010

(Portland, Ore.) April 8, 2010 - Portland State University (PSU) President Wim Wiewel has issued a proclamation declaring that April is "Sexual Assault Awareness Month" at the University. The national theme of this year's Sexual Assault Awareness Month is "Prevent Sexual Violence on Our Campuses."

"Sexual Assault Awareness Month is intended to draw attention to the fact that sexual violence remains an intolerable and violent crime with public health implications for every community member of Portland State University," said Wiewel.  "Rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment impact students of all genders in a campus community, and we must work together to educate our community about what can be done to prevent sexual assault and how to support survivors."

Statistics indicate that 1 in 5 women will have experienced sexual assault by the time they complete college, but only 12 percent of rapes were reported to law enforcement.  The National Institute of Justice notes that many experts believe that rape and other forms of sexual assault are among the most underreported crimes.

"President Wiewel's proclamation provides an opportunity for PSU to confront the problem of sexual violence and look at what we can do to create a safer campus community," said Jessica Amo of the Women's Resource Center.  "One step we can take is to ensure that all members of our community recognize the importance of addressing this issue: that we know how to intervene, and that we stay informed about campus policies and resources."  

Departments across campus have partnered to offer a full calendar of events including a consent workshop, several lectures, and free yoga.

The month starts with The Red Flag campaign, a visual awareness and education campaign created by the campus-wide display of flags and posters.  These materials bring attention to the "red flags" encountered within the context of unhealthy or dangerous relationships, and provide examples of how students can intervene when they see these red flags.  

"Sexual violence is preventable," says Amo.  "We all have a role to play in making our community a safe place to live, work and study."

To see the full Proclamation and calendar of events, visit the Women's Resource Center at: www.pdx.edu/wrc