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Taking a stand on sexual assault | The Triangle

Taking a stand on sexual assault

Photograph courtesy of Free-Photos, Pixabay

For the fourth year, Drexel is recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month through an array of events coordinated by the Office of Equality and Diversity that correspond with the overall theme “Where Do You Stand?”

“We’re asking the Drexel community, [‘Where Do You Stand’] in terms of sexual and interpersonal violence? Are you standing on the side that will work to prevent this and making sure that students, faculty and staff have the tools they need?” Reema Malhotra,  deputy Title IX coordinator in the OED, said.

Throughout the month, the OED will host events in collaboration with other departments and organizations on campus. One such recurring event is Teal Tuesdays, which aims to generate a conversation based on the question “Where Do You Stand?” which is featured on the t-shirts.

“Teal Tuesdays is an effort to reach out to the students and the Drexel community as a whole. We will be tabling every Tuesday at the Dragon in an effort to distribute all of our t-shirts so we can see teal every day throughout April,” said Malhotra.

Take Back the Night also returns April 21, hosted by Sigma Psi Zeta and Alpha Phi Omega. Take Back the Night is an event and non-profit organization that aims to end sexual violence globally. It is a globally recognized event for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the OED will assist with activities and encourages everyone to be a part of the campus-wide event.

In addition to Teal Tuesdays and Take Back the Night, the OED will host workshops and discussions around campus. One of these workshops, “Where’s my voice?,” is based on the #MeToo movement and aims  to discuss how different voices fit into the movement, and to amplify minority voices.

Malhotra believes that there is a heightened awareness of sexual violence and assault due to the #MeToo movement and hopes that it will generate further interest and participation in the awareness month as well.

“As a university, there are so many instances of sexual violence that happen constantly. Not just at Drexel, but in universities across the country and different places around the world. All of this violence is happening, so for us to be able to recognize SAAM in an effort to raise that awareness and get all these events going that will provide students, faculty and staff with resources is a great opportunity,” said Malhotra.

Malhotra emphasized that everyone can benefit from the month’s events and the resources available through the OED.

“With all of the events happening throughout the month, there is something for everyone. If you really want to get into the heavy part, there are discussions. … Even if it’s just picking up your t-shirt and wearing it on Tuesdays, you are still being part of the movement,” she said.

April has been nationally recognized as SAAM since 2001, according to the National Sexual Assault Violence Resource Center.

Students interested in learning more about SAAM are encouraged to contact Malhotra at [email protected]. A full list of the events for SAAM can be found on the Office of Equality and Diversity’s web page.