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SUNY Brockport recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month 

(Photo Credit: Cambrie Eckert)

TW: Mentions of sexual assault and sexual violence. 

This April marks the 22nd anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). SUNY Brockport has taken steps to recognize SAAM by promoting several events taking place throughout this month.   

Health Promotion and Prevention Education (HPPE) hosted an online webinar on April 4, which featured the authors of “Sexual Citizens – A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus.” This webinar featured the authors’ new Sexual Assault Prevention and Community Equity (SPACE) toolkit, meant to challenge colleges and universities to implement necessary strategies for inclusion, prevention and response work.   

Later that day, the Eagle Hall RA staff worked with HPPE, the Hazen Counseling Center, University Police, RESTORE Sexual Assault Services and Willow Domestic Services to hold a sexual assault awareness informational session, where students learned new self-defense skills, resources and campus support.  

Then on April 5, Tim Mousseau led a keynote session, sponsored by HPPE and Title IX, in recognition of SAAM at SUNY Brockport. Mousseau’s keynote took place in Edwards Hall, guiding students to combat sexual violence, fight for change and redefine their interpretation of masculinity. This event had confidential advocates and counselors on standby for anyone who needed assistance.  

From April 10-14, HPPE and RESTORE partnered together to host a “What Were You Wearing?” exhibit in the Seymour Union Gallery. This gallery featured outfits worn by survivors of all genders of sexual assault across Monroe County. This exhibit explores diversity among sexual assault survivors, ranging in age and gender. This exhibit also offered Title IX, the American College Health Association, Hazen Counseling Center and RESTORE resources.  

The goal of this exhibit is to challenge the popular rape myth that what a victim wears can be the cause of their assault. On each flyer provided, it states: “The violation is not simply woven into the fabric of the material, it is a part of the survivor’s new narrative. If only ending sexual violence was as easy as changing our clothes.”  

Each outfit featured in the exhibit had a quote about their assault displayed next to them. One of these outfits was a yellow Beauty and the Beast dress, worn by a six-year-old survivor.   

“A friend of my parents’ who visited our house molested me. I was six. He did it to my sisters too.”   

Another outfit featured a long-sleeved gray sweater and blue jeans.  

“Before medical school, I decided to be more social for once. I started the night with a smile. I ended the night in tears, trembling all over. I always remember where that sweater is in my closet.”  

The poem, “What I was Wearing” by Mary Simmerling led to the first “What Were You Wearing?” Survivor Art Installation, which was displayed at the University of Arkansas in 2014.  

From April 19-20, SUNY Brockport is holding their Annual Clothesline Project in the Seymour Union Ballroom. This event is a visual display of the violence against women, meant to educate, document, raise awareness and provide support and resources for survivors of sexual assault and violence. This public display features shirts hung along a clothesline, decorated to represent the various experiences of women. Each shirt is designed by the survivor herself or someone who cares about her.   

SUNY Brockport also promoted the SUNY Sexual Violence Prevalence (SVP) Campus Climate Survey, which has recently closed for submissions. This biennial survey gathers information about sexual and interpersonal violence, as well as students’ knowledge about related polices and available resources on campus.   

Resources for victims of sexual assault at SUNY Brockport can be found here

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Cambrie Eckert, News Editor
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