Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

WRC leads sexual assault awareness campaign

Students and advocates are hoping to spread the message of sexual assault awareness month through the Teal Ribbon Campaign sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center.

WRC Director Elle Shaaban-Magaña said the campaign is nationally recognized, and teal is the color assigned to sexual assault awareness. The University of Alabama began supporting the campaign in 1999.

“We want to kind of break the silence and the metaphorical silence that is around this difficult issue,” Shaaban-Magaña said.

She said her main goal is to bring as much awareness to campus as possible.

“It’s a way of showing support for survivors and also saying this is not okay,” Shaaban-Magaña said. “We need to give people lots of ways to get connected to being part of the solution, and wearing a ribbon is something that might be a good start or something simple that many people can do.”

(See also “Addressing sexual assault in college“) 

The WRC will host a number of events geared toward spreading knowledge about sexual assault throughout the month. One of the largest is Take Back the Night, a march and rally to raise awareness and teach individuals about prevention and ways to help.

Tiara Dees, public relations coordinator and graduate assistant for the WRC, said the event is significant because of the message it sends.

“It’s to show others that we are not okay with it,” Dees said. “And we are not going to let victims’ voices become silent.”

Mollie Tinney, a programming graduate assistant for the WRC, highlighted an event called Filling the Well: Addressing Sexual Slavery in Alabama. She said she is looking forward to reaching out to different populations and hopes that awareness continues to spread at the University.

(See also “Rallying to Take Back the Night“)

“People don’t think that that happens here,” Tinney said. “People think about pictures in popular culture about sexual assault, but sex trafficking and sex slavery happens all over the country, not just in major cities like Atlanta or Birmingham.”

The WRC will host several other events through April to spread awareness of sexual assault and provide training and information on how to help victims. On Tuesday, the WRC Student Leadership Council will host The REEL Story of Sexual Assault at Florida State University, examining the media’s depiction and influence on the Jameis Winston sexual assault case.

Shaaban-Magaña said she would love to see a teal ribbon in every building on campus.

“We want to address issues that are specific to our UA campus, but we also want to acknowledge sexual assault within a broader context,” Shaaban-Magaña said. “I think that students bring a lot of energy and creativity and can be part of a social movement to end sexual violence.”

Teal ribbons can be picked up at the Women’s Resource Center anytime during April. Packets of ribbons can also be requested for organizations by calling (205) 348-5040.

(See also “Women’s resource center hosts brown bag lecture series“)

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