Student Groups Sponsor “Walk” to Observe Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April 9, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Two Illinois Wesleyan student groups, Choosing Healthy Options
In Collegiate Environments (CHOICE) and IWU Pride Alliance, are collaborating with
Bloomington organization YWCA Stepping Stones to sponsor Walking the Walk in observation
of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), the month of April
has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The goal of SAAM is to
raise public awareness about sexual violence, focusing on sexual assault and rape,
and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. CHOICE
has also placed teal ribbons around the campus to commemorate SAAM throughout the
month of April.
Walking the Walk, which will take place in two sessions at the Hansen Student Center
(300 Beecher St.) on Wednesday, April 15, seeks to give participants the chance to
“navigate the paths and face issues that are often experienced by sexual assault survivors
and their loved ones” said CHOICE president Jessica Madigan, a sophomore mathematics
major and business administration minor.
The sessions, offered at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., will each last for 45 minutes. After
participants are divided into groups and given direction cards, they will choose one
member to lead them through the activity, which takes the “choose your own adventure
format,” said Madigan. “As the group leader goes through the cards, the other members
of the group are only onlookers and they cannot help the group leader make decisions.
This represents people who are involved in a situation but cannot do anything to help.”
Participants will have the opportunity to discuss their experiences after completing
the activity and will also be able to speak with Stepping Stones counselors at any
time during the event.
Stepping Stones, YWCA’s sexual assault program, provides 24-hour assistance for sexual
assault and sexual abuse victims and their families in McLean County. Services focus
on empowering survivors, their families and their friends on the path of healing,
building relationships with professionals and agencies that will be part of the healing
process, and educating the community about sexual assault.
CHOICE is a group of peers devoted to health education across campus. The organization
works through programs, campaigns and events to promote awareness and encourage both
discussion and healthy decisions regarding alcohol use, sexual activity, healthy relationships,
stress management, body image and other high-risk behaviors.
The IWU Pride Alliance is a student-run organization dedicated to equality for all
students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. It seeks to help ensure
safety and equality for all in the community.
For additional information about Walking the Walk, contact Madigan at email@example.com. To learn more about SAAM, visit www.nsvrc.org/saam/.
Contact: Jessica Block ‘09, (309) 556-3181