SRU joins national ‘It’s on Us’ campaign to combat sexual assault

Its On Us logo for Slippery Rock University

March 31, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University will join the national annual campaign to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate individuals on how to prevent sexual violence when it hosts a series of informational programming April 4-7. The programs are part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month; a campaign coordinated each April by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

Jody Solito

   SOLITO

Various campus offices and departments that serve survivors of sexual assault will provide information about the definition of sexual assault, prevention and intervention according to Jodi Solito, director of the SRU Women's Center/Pride Center.

According to the NSVRC, one in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives with 91 percent of the victims of rape and sexual assault being female. In terms of campus sexual assault, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college; more than 90 percent of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault; and more than 63 percent of men at one university who self-reported acts qualifying as rape or attempted rape admitted to committing repeat rapes.

A big part of the mission of Sexual Assault Awareness Month is to instill a sense of responsibility for bystanders to come forward if they suspect or witness an incident, noted the NSVRC.

As part of its involvement in the "It's on Us" campaign, SRU will offer a series of awareness events, including:

  • "Sexual Assault Info Table" featuring facts and resources as well as free t-shirts; 12:30-1:30 p.m., April 4, Smith Student Center lobby. Sponsored by the Women's Center;
  • "Step Up!" bystander intervention workshops; 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., April 5, Smith Student Center, Room 321. Hosted by SRU's HOPE Peer Educators. Sessions are 50 minutes long;
  • Title IX panel discussion; 12:30-1:30 p.m., April 6, Smith Student Center, Room 321. Campus authorities will discuss the importance of and process for reporting sexual violence;
  • "Shattering the Silence of Sexual Violence" with Julia Dixon; 6 p.m., April 6, Smith Student Center Theatre. A national expert in sexual assault prevention and survivor empowerment, Dixon is a member of PAVE (Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment), a national non-profit that works to address sexual violence through social advocacy, education and survivor support. Following Dixon's talk, the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance will host its annual "Take Back the Night" event in The Quad. That event features speakers and a march through campus, ending with a candlelight vigil in honor and memory of victims of sexual violence; and
  • "What's Next?" with David Wilmes, associate provost for student success; 1:30 p.m., Smith Student Center, Room 321. A discussion about eliminating sexual violence at SRU

In addition to SRU's participation in the "It's on Us" campaign, Wilmes will be spearheading the launch of a men's group that will address the subject of sexual violence. The group, with training to be conducted by "Men Can Stop Rape," will serve as a peer education group. Funding for the group was made possible by a grant provided by the state. Those interested in participating should contact Wilmes at: 724.738.2727 or david.wilmes@sru.edu.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 | robert.king@sru.edu