April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and UC Merced’s CARE Office is joining universities and colleges across the globe in an effort to increase awareness about sexual assault, decrease its frequency and help survivors.
The month of awareness and education begins today (April 1) with the launch of a logo design contest to create a new insignia for the Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE) Office.
“We are excited to see what the campus community comes up with for our new logo,” Director Kari Mansager said. “Our intent is for it to reflect our name and the important services we provide to those on campus as well as visitors.”
The contest submission period runs until April 20, with the winning design to be announced April 30. Students and staff and faculty members can send questions about the contest or submit a logo design by email to CARE Program Coordinator Alyssa Avila.
Students and others can participate in a clothesline project April 20 to 23, coloring a T-shirt with a personal message relating to sexual assault and prevention. The decorated tees will be displayed throughout the week.
On April 23, members of the campus community are invited to stand up and speak out against sexual violence at The 11th Hour, a showcase featuring spoken word, music and dance performances. The event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Cat Quad near the Yablokoff-Wallace Dining Center. Register to perform individually or with a group.
This year’s Denim Day event will be held at noon on April 29. The theme, “Express Your Dress,” is part of an international call to help stop victim blaming. Denim Day began in 1999 in protest of an Italian High Court decision to overturn a rape conviction because the survivor was wearing jeans. The judge maintained that the survivor must have helped the perpetrator remove her jeans, and therefore wasn’t “really” raped. All campus community members are encouraged to wear jeans that day to show their support.
The Greek Advisory Committee will show its support of SAAM by hosting Walk for Change from noon to 1 p.m. April 30. The march will begin at the Cat Quad and will travel up Scholars Lane, with participants collecting change to benefit the Valley Crisis Center in Merced.
Throughout the year, the CARE team provides prevention education in the form of class presentations and tabling events, as well as training for students and staff and faculty members. The CARE Office plans to launch a “Spring Training” to offer information sessions to all campus departments. Plans are also in the works for the CARE Office to be relocated to a new administrative home later this year.
To sign up to support Denim Day or other Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities, visit http://tinyurl.com/UCMDenimDay.