EDITORIAL: Participate and get educated during Sexual Assault Awareness Month


April 1 marks the beginning of sexual assault awareness month.

Sexual assault is an important issue to pay attention to and be educated about, especially for college students. Roughly 11 percent of all undergraduate and graduate students are sexually assaulted during their time in college, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

On- in-five women are sexually assaulted while in college. One-in-16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. This has to end.

Because of rape culture in our society, sexual assault victims are afraid to come forward and report assaults. In fact, only 20 percent of assaulted college women report their assault to authorities, according to RAINN. 

Everyone knows sexual assault is a threat all students face in college. Slowly, we are making progress to fight against rape culture on campus. This month, there will be events taking place on campus for sexual assault awareness month-- go to one. Learn what you can do to fight this issue. 

We have the power to address rape culture on our campus. We need to bring attention to the issue and educate as many people as we can.

Central Michigan University's Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates will host an evening of Solidarity in observance of the month.  There will be performances and a speak-out event. Attend the event, learn about the effects of sexual assault and how you can stand in solidarity with those affected.

You can join other CMU students in fighting rape culture by peacefully protesting during the annual SlutWalk on April 14. This event, hosted by the CMU Organization of Women Leaders, originates from a 2011 police address at a York University safety forum regarding rape on college campuses. When talking about how women can avoid rape a police officer said women should avoid dressing like "sluts." After hearing this narrative, along with many others which blame survivors, students on campuses across the U.S. and Canada have organized SlutWalk events. 

SlutWalk gives students and community members the opportunity to come together, holding protest signs and wearing any outfit they want, and stand up against rape culture, victim blaming and sexual assault. Join them in the march this month and make your voice heard.

It's important for survivors to remember they are not alone. CMU has several resources for those who have been sexually assaulted, or those who just want to learn more about it.

Confidential resources:

Counseling Center 
The CMU Counseling Center provides a variety of free services for CMU students enrolled in classes. Services include confidential individual counseling and group counseling specifically designed for those who have been affected by sexual assault, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and harassment.  To make an appointment with a sexual aggression dedicated counselor or register to attend group counseling, contact the Counseling Center.

Phone:  (989) 774-3381

Email:  counsel@cmich.edu 

Location:  Foust Hall 102

Hours:  8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday during fall and spring semesters, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. during summer semesters.

Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates (SAPA)

SAPA provides confidential advocacy, support, empowerment, crisis intervention and even short-term emergency housing to those affected by sexual assault, domestic violence, intimate partner violence or stalking.

Safe Room:  SAPA can provide short-term emergency housing for CMU students who are victims of sexual aggression and need a safe place to stay.  A safe room is available during the fall and spring semesters by contacting SAPA via the 24-hour crisis hotline, (989) 774-CALL (2255).

24-Hour Crisis Hotline:  (989) 774-CALL (2255) 

Online SAPA Chat:  Click or touch the Online button located on the right

Email:  ​sapa@cmich.edu 

Hours:  The 24-hour crisis hotline and online SAPA chat is available 24-hours a day during fall and spring semesters.  Crisis services are unavailable during summer semesters, university breaks, and university closures.  Please contact the Department of Sexual Aggression Services, (989) 774-6677, or the CMU Counseling Center, (989) 774-3381, during these times. 

CARE Advocates 

Sponsored by the Office of Residence Life, the CARE Advocate Program places licensed mental health professionals directly in the residence halls.  They provide free consultation, support, crisis intervention and proactive prevention efforts addressing mental health issues. CARE Advocates are available at the following campus locations:

  • East Student Success Center – Saxe Hall, (989) 774-1879
  • North Student Success Center – Larzelere Hall, (989) 774-3947
  • South Student Success Center – Sweeney Hall, (989) 774-3089
  • Towers Student Success Center– (989) 774-6601 

Non-confidential resources

Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity

The Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity investigates all sexual misconduct complaints.  The university’s current Sexual Misconduct Policy that applies to all faculty, staff, and students regardless of sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation can be found on their website.

Phone:  (989) 774-3253

Location:  Bovee University Center 306

Hours:  8 am – 5 pm, Monday-Friday

CMU Police 

Central Michigan University Police Department is your resource for reporting incidents of sexual assault, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, stalking or harassment that occur on campus.

911 (if calling from an on campus phone)

Phone:  (989) 774-3081

Email:  police@cmich.edu

Location:  1720 Combined Services Building 

Hours:  24/7/365