CPP gives voices to victims of sexual violence

Jacob Rodriguez, April 23, 2024

The Office of Equity and Compliance, Title IX, and Survivor Advocacy Services are collaborating to educate CPP students about the importance of spreading awareness to prevent sexual violence and foster a safer community on campus.

Cal Poly Pomona stands with victims of sexual violence as Sexual Assault Awareness Month is nationally recognized during the month of April.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a national month-long campaign that seeks to raise public awareness about sexual violence, advocate for survivors, and educate communities about how to prevent it.

Title IX and Survivor Advocacy Services offer some events such as Teal Tuesdays. Teal is the official color of sexual violence prevention, and teal is an acronym that stands for togetherness, empowerment, advocacy, and learning. Wearing it every Tuesday to shows support for survivors of sexual violence.

“Every Tuesday, we will be around the library,” said Candy Alvarado, a prevention and education specialist, about the month-long events. “We hope students come and sign up for a solidarity walk. Everyone who registers will receive a free T-shirt.”

The solidarity walk will be held April 25 to show support for survivors of sexual violence. Food, resources and poster-making materials will be available throughout the program.

Students can join a solidarity walk for victims on April 25. Students can sign up at the Library. | Jacob Rodriguez

“We want to make sure that everyone knows that it is Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” said Alvarado. “We want to be supportive of all the survivors; we want to promote and educate our students to prevent sexual violence that could occur whether that is on campus or outside of campus.”

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Sexual Assault Awareness Month was founded in April 2001 by the NSVRC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing and responding to sexual violence through research, education and advocacy.

Since its inception, Sexual Assault Awareness Month has grown into a nationally recognized campaign observed annually in April. Advocacy groups, universities, community organizations and government agencies organize various activities and events nationwide.

Associate Vice President and Title IX Coordinator, Dawnita Franklin, expressed the importance of acknowledging the month and the impact surrounding it.

“Understanding that there are resources that can help you to break down those barriers so people can feel like there is support that there are offices and resources that can assist them and try to keep the community safe.”

The events are not only meant to spread awareness and educate students but also to remind them of the many resources CPP can offer to those who are impacted by sexual violence, as students try to navigate and process the situation and feel supported.

“Hopefully, having the solidarity walk will help end sexual violence changing behavior that contributes to rape culture and how we can change our community to make it a safer community for individuals,” said Rhonda Dixon, Senior Coordinator of Survivor Advocacy Services

The Survivor Advocacy Services is available year-round for everyone at CPP, regardless of student, faculty or staff status. Anyone who has been impacted by sexual violence is welcome to share and receive support.

As the month continues, Franklin hopes students understand these conversations can continue past April and that they can help prevent sexual assault as well as guide others to resources in the aftermath of sexual assault.

“It’s important we all understand that we play a role to keep our campus safe,” said Franklin. “So it’s not just one office, not just faculty or staff, but it is the collective Cal Poly community. When we come together, if we see something, we say something, we do something regardless of if you are in the classroom or a workspace.”

Feature image courtesy of Lauren Wong. 

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