Home / Spring 2016 / 2016-04-21 / History lesson: when people stood against sexual assault

History lesson: when people stood against sexual assault

Photo Illustration by Kayla Stroud/THE SPECTATOR

Written by Olivia Studdard, Staff Writer

The color teal may have been extremely prominent on VSU’s campus this month, and many students are wondering what it represents. Teal is the focus color of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which takes place every April.

All throughout the month of April, teal ribbons and the slogans, “It’s About Time to Prevent Sexual Violence. Speak Out,” and “Decide to End Sexual Violence,” color America.

Sexual Assault numbers are higher on college campuses than they are anywhere else. Knowing this, it only seems natural that college students are the ones leading in protests, marches and awareness campaigns.

This past Tuesday night, VSU’s criminal justice department hosted its own “Take Back the Night” which included a viewing of “The Hunting Ground” and refreshments to educate students about the dangers of sexual assault on campus.

Going as far back as the late 1970s, women have been protesting against the growing rate of assaults. One of the largest campaigns in this time was the “Take Back the Night” marches. San Francisco and New York City were the first to hold “Take Back the Night” events in 1978. The idea spread like wildfire, and awareness grew. Eventually awareness for sexual violence against men became a focus as well.

These protests got their name because women would protest on the streets at night. They began to look for a time of the year when they could actively promote awareness against sexual violence. They would strongly participate in October’s domestic violence month events, but desired to ignite awareness for sexual assault against women. By the late 1990s, Sexual Assault Awareness Month was born.

The United States nationally celebrated Sexual Assault Awareness Month for the first time in April of 2001, and the tradition of igniting passion for change has continued ever since.

Photo Courtesy of Kayla Stroud
Photo Courtesy of Kayla Stroud

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