April 2, 2010 — According to the statistics, it is very possible that virtually everyone at the University of Virginia has met, will meet or has simply walked by a sexual assault survivor on Grounds.
The U.Va. Women's Center and student groups have organized several events from April 5 to 8 to raise awareness about the difficulties of dealing with sexual assault and abuse. The week will culminate in the annual "Take Back the Night" march and rally on Thursday.
The events include:
• Forum on Non-Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression
Monday, 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Maury Hall, room 209
The forum will include discussion of the impact of Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell's Executive Order 6, his Executive Directive 1 and Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli's March 4 letter to presidents, rectors and visitors of Virginia's public colleges and universities advising that the phrases "sexual orientation," "gender identity" and "gender expression" be removed from non-discrimination policies, and the response e-mail from U.Va. President John T. Casteen III. Participants also will discuss University and statewide responses.
Organized by UVaPride and Queer and Allied Activism
• Panel Discussion: "How to Date a Survivor"
Monday, 8 p.m.
McLeod Hall, room 1020
The panel will feature a sexual assault survivor, the survivor's partner and a close friend. Each party will give an account of what it's like to deal with an experience like this from their own unique perspective.
• Mock Sexual Assault Trial
Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Clark Hall, room 108
The simulation trial of a case brought by a victim of sexual assault will be presented. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 60 percent of sexual assault cases go unreported. Reasons include a feeling of guilt and confusion on the part of the victim, not knowing what steps to take, or simply not wanting to think about it.
• "Expression Without Words" Art Exhibit
Wednesday, 58 p.m.
Baptist Student Center on Jefferson Park Avenue, across from Student Health
• Take Back the Night March and Rally
Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.
Washington Park shelter on Preston Avenue, across from Shenandoah Joe's coffee shop
Join the University and Charlottesville communities in reclaiming every woman's right to a life free of violence. The rally, featuring U.Va. alumna Liz Seccuro (who successfully prosecuted her rapist 20 years after the assault), Dan Harrington (Morgan Harrington's father), musicians, step dancers and others, will begin at Washington Park. From there, marchers will head to the U.Va. McIntire Amphitheater for the "Survivors' Speak-out." Wear cold weather gear and bring a flashlight.
Organized by the student groups Sexual Assault Leadership Council and Feminism is for Everyone.