SAPA aims to educate, spread awareness for Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates (SAPA) is hosting a series of events throughout April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
SAPA is a paraprofessional student organization at Central Michigan University that helps those impacted by sexual aggression. R.I.S.E Advocacy Inc. will also work with SAPA to provide additional resources throughout the month.
R.I.S.E is an organization that aims to provide guidance to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
The goal of Sexual Assault Awareness Month is twofold, said R.I.S.E Sexual Assault Community Engagement Specialist Lauren Fox, honoring sexual assault survivors and educating others on the persisting issue.
“Sexual assault is in our community — it happens to anyone. It doesn’t know race, it doesn’t know gender,” Fox said. “We encourage that everyone is aware that it is in the community, and we encourage everyone to know the resources and how they can support survivors.”
The first Tuesday of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month’s Day of Action. This is a day where participants are encouraged to take action and wear teal — the color of sexual violence prevention.
“It’s a way to encourage people on a national level to get out and wear your teal and raise awareness whether your action is educating yourself or educating other people,” SAPA Interim Director Megan Varner said. “It’s really encouraging people to understand that there is action you can take no matter how small.”
SAPA is kickstarting the month with “What’s the Big Teal?” tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. in Plachta Auditorium. Lisa Saruga, CMU alumna, will discuss her personal story and ways the community can take action against sexual assault.
Varner encourages not only CMU students, but also faculty, staff and community members to participate in the events held throughout the month.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month Events for SAPA:
Throughout the month: Letter for Survivors Campaign
- Those interested can write letters of support to survivors of sexual assault. Letters can be turned in to SAPA to be displayed in the Volunteer Center windows starting on April 18.
April 5: Sexual Assault Awareness Month Day of Action and Teal Day/ All-day
- An event occurring all day where the CMU campus and community is encouraged to wear teal to increase awareness about sexual assault
What’s the Big Teal?: A Conversation with Alumna Lisa Saruga / 7:00 p.m. in Plachta Auditorium
- Lisa Saruga, CMU alumna, will lead a discussion and share steps she has taken towards healing after she faced an attack in the 1980s. She will further discuss her efforts working with the Michigan State House of Representatives to find safety for those whose perpetrators are still in society. Saruga will join a panel afterwards to discuss action the community can take.
April 11 - 18: Social Media Campaign / All week
- SAPA will be providing social media content to educate and spread awareness on sexual assault
April 19: Chipotle Fundraiser / 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Proceeds from this fundraiser will go directly toward supporting SAPA.
April 20: Solidarity / 7 p.m. UC Rotunda
- An event held to stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault. There will be live performances followed by a speak out event.
April 25 - 29: Sexual Assault Awareness Month Display
- The sidewalk between Park Library and Fabiano Gardens will provide visual representation of sexual assault statistics and information
April 27: Denim Day / All day
- Participants are asked to join a national movement and wear jeans to raise awareness about sexual assault and consent.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month Events for R.I.S.E:
April 14: R.I.S.E Texas Roadhouse Fundraiser / 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.