Auburn Family

Events on Auburn's Campus Aim to Raise Awareness of Sexual Assault

During the month of April Auburn University’s Women’s Resource Center, a division of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, is partnering with the Health Promotion and Wellness Services to host Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) to inform students on campus about the topic.

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“Auburn does not talk about this stuff that much,” Carrie Kilpatrick, diversity initiatives coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center, said.  “A lot of people have a false sense of security, not that people should be scared or frightened, but at the same time people should be more aware that it is a problem and that it is happening a lot more than we are thinking about.”

The Red Flag Campaign kicks off SAAM. The campaign is a three-day project that will be held on the Haley concourse April 4-6 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The campaign is meant to bring awareness to Auburn students about dating violence and “red flags” in their relationships.

“A flag could say ‘My boyfriend gets really jealous when I go out with my friends’ or ‘My girlfriend won’t stop calling me and gets really possessive,’” Kilpatrick said. “It is intended to make people aware of problem behaviors before they get really bad and turn into problematic.”

“These Hands Don’t Hurt” will be held April 11-13 on the Haley concourse from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. It is an awareness campaign where individuals can pledge to stop relationship violence. This is done by dipping their hand in paint, making an impression on paper and finally signing their name under their hand print.

“We are working with Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity for ‘These Hands Don’t Hurt,’” Kilpatrick said.  “We are really trying to make it a push not just toward women afraid of this issue, but to make men aware that rape is a bad thing. They need to do stuff on their side. Not just women need to prevent themselves from getting raped, but men need to prevent other men from raping.”

The Clothesline Project is a two-day project that will be held April 20-21 on Cater Lawn from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. This event will address the issue of sexual assault and violence against women. Participants can convey their emotions by decorating a T-shirt.

“The Clothesline Project is very expressive,” Kilpatrick said. “If you were affected by incest it could be painted yellow, or if you knew someone who died from sexual assault it could be black.”

Take back the Night march will conclude SAAM on April 21 at 6:30 p.m. on Cater Lawn.  The purpose of the rally is to educate men and women on the issue of violence and sexual assault.

This year’s speakers include SGA President Kirby Turnage, Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson and Auburn local Theresa Rodriguez. They will provide statistics and personal stories on sexual assault and awareness.

A candlelight vigil and moment of silence will also be held in memory of those affected by sexual assault.

“Take back the Night was started and intended for women who are afraid to go out at night,” Kilpatrick said. “For so many years women have been taught to not go out at night or go out in groups because there are potential rapists everywhere. Take back the Night says 'Don’t be afraid anymore.' We aren’t only going to address sexual assault in terms of it happening to us, but we need to prevent the behaviors from happening in the first place.”

Two spirit points will be given for each event except the Red Flag Campaign.

“We should know that Auburn has a problem, everywhere has a problem, and we should all be taking proactive steps to end this,” Kilpatrick said. “This is something that can be ended. It is something we can take the steps to say ‘No, it’s not OK to do this anymore.’”

For more information please email Carrie Kilpatrick at or call 844-4399.

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Tags: Auburn, SAAM, april, awareness, center, resource, women's


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