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Sexual assault awareness at PNW

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Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network Day, was held on Sep. 21. RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization and leading authority on sexual violence. In an effort to raise awareness, the Counseling Center, Dean of Students Office, and Office of Student Life collaborated for the event at Westville.

RAINN Day is a nationwide event that raises awareness about sexual assault. Although traditionally held on college campuses, RAINN Day has also been conducted by high schools and local community groups across the country.

Jamie Rehmel, psychologist from the Counseling Center, participated in his first RAINN Day event on the Westville campus. Equipped with a multitude of brochures, pamphlets and tips, Rehmel was eager to spread his knowledge and awareness to the students.

Rehmel said the event provides more than sexual assault awareness.

“I hope it educates students to practice safer sexual activities and also informs them that there are avenues for reaching out for help,” Rehmel said.

According to RAINN’s official website, 11 percent of all students experience rape or sexual assault through the use of force. Among undergraduates, 23 percent of females and 5 percent of males experience rape or sexual assault.

Despite these statistics, only one in six survivors receive assistance from a victim services agency, and only 20 percent of female victims report their case to law enforcement. Student victims who did not report was because 26 percent believed the assault was a personal issue, 20 percent feared reprisal and 12 percent did not believe it was important enough to report. In addition, 31 percent of victims do not report the incident for “unspecified reasons.”

Jennie Pruitt, assistant director of Student Support and Advocacy, hopes RAINN Day will keep growing and get more involvement, support and education.

Students were encouraged to participate in activities that dealt with answering questions on the topics of rape and sexual assault. Once the participant answered the question, they would receive a red ribbon pin and a safety whistle.

Bottles of water and bags of chips were awarded to those who participated in the pony races. Students were also encouraged to decorate paper umbrellas that would be put on display on campus.

PNW has participated in sexual abuse awareness events in the past and this was the second time the event was held at the Westville campus.

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