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College Q&A: UHV to discuss prevention of sexual assault at event

By By Katy Walterscheidt
April 5, 2014 at midnight
Updated April 4, 2014 at 11:05 p.m.


Is the University of Houston-Victoria hosting any Sexual Assault Awareness Month events?

Yes. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. To educate students and the public about sexual assault prevention, the University of Houston-Victoria Counseling Center is hosting a You Wear the Pants Denim Day event from 4:30 to 6 p.m. April 23 at Jaguar Hall, 2705 Houston Highway.

Denim Day is a national day in which people wear jeans as a visible sign to support sexual assault victims. It is in honor of an Italian woman who was sexually assaulted. The Italian judges ruled that because the victim wore tight jeans, she must have helped her attacker remove them, which would imply consent.

"We wear denim on Denim Day to show that sexual assault isn't about what you wear," UHV victim advocate Elena Torres said. "One in four college women will be sexually assaulted, so we want to educate people about what to do if it happens and, more importantly, how to prevent it."

The You Wear the Pants event is open to the public and will include an open discussion and information stations.

UHV history lecturer Susan Taylor was in Italy during the trial that prompted the creation of Denim Day. She will talk about her experience and how Italians reacted to the ruling.

UHV English lecturer Saba Razvi is encouraging her students to write about personal experiences or their reaction to something they've read related to sexual assault. During the event, those interested will have the opportunity to read or tell a story related to the theme.

The various information stations will include information and hands-on activities about sexual assault myths, healthy relationships, risk factors for victims, resources, consent, how to prevent a rape and what to do if someone is assaulted.

Students who visit each station will be entered into a drawing to win prizes. Those interested in donating prizes for the student contest, such as restaurant gift cards or school supplies, may contact Torres at torresem@uhv.edu or 361-570-4141.

Participating organizations include the UHV Student Life Office, Counseling Center and Housing, as well as Victoria County Sheriff's Office, Gulf Bend Center and Mid-Coast Family Services.

"We want to open a conversation with community members about how to prevent sexual assault and stop violence," Torres said.

As part of a U.S. Department of Justice grant, the UHV Counseling Center created the Victim Intervention Prevention Program to help prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on campus.

Do you have a question about the University of Houston-Victoria? Contact Katy Walterscheidt, UHV communications specialist, at 361-570-4342 or at walterscheidtk@uhv.edu.

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