Holly Lovern, a gender violence services coordinator with the Carolina Women’s Center, said in an email the month is a great opportunity to raise awareness about the resources that are available to students on campus.
“(We) wanted to help kick off SAAM with a week of events and help engage people on campus engage in conversations about sexual violence, bystander intervention, consent and survivor support,” Lovern said.
Project Dinah hosted a benefit concert for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. Anna Taylor, one of the organization’s co-chairs said it is important that students are educated about sexual assault.
“A lot of people come into college already as survivors of sexual or interpersonal violence and unfortunately a lot of people experience those forms of violence during college so we empower other students to be able to find on-campus and off-campus support to help them process those experiences,” Taylor said.
Lara Naughton, a sexual assault survivor and author of “The Jaguar Man,” did a reading and a workshop on campus that focused on compassion and narratives of survivors and perpetrators.
Naughton said she thinks Sexual Assault Awareness Month is important because sexual assault is still a difficult topic for people to discuss.
“The majority of assaults, sexual assaults, are committed against people or are people the perpetrator knows, and I think that adds a whole level of complexity and secrecy,” Naughton said.
Naughton said she hopes the month helps survivors of sexual assault face what has happened to them and what they are currently experiencing.