BYU Women’s Services and Resources and the Title IX Office will hold a Sexual Assault Awareness Week March 29 through April 2.
The offices will be hosting events to help students build their awareness of sexual assault, beginning with a “Chalk the Walk” activity on Monday, March 29 in Brigham Square. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., students will have the opportunity to write their answer to the question, “what would the world be like without sexual assault?” on the square.
Other events will include an awareness gallery, Zoom Q&A panels and a social media campaign using the hashtag #BYUTakeAction. Participants can show support on Friday, April 2, by wearing teal shirts and sharing on social media.
“Ultimately, our goal is to start a conversation and increase awareness about sexual assault across campus,” said Title IX Office Manager Kelsie Cleveland. “We have tried to choose events that accomplish that goal.”
Cleveland said the Title IX Office and Women’s Services and Resources have done Chalk the Walk for several years and some of the responses they’ve seen have been really inspiring. She said the past year’s rise in online interactions inspired them to add a panel on online dating safety.
“I hope people learn not just how to stop sexual assault for other people, but how to be safe and smart,” said Women’s Services Campaign Coordinator Carly Heimuli. “It’s important for people to learn what consent truly is so they know how to give it when they need to.”
Cleveland said sometimes people think sexual assault doesn’t happen as much at BYU because of the university’s unique standards, but it’s important to recognize the error in that thinking. “It makes it much harder to stop sexual violence if we don’t realize that it can and does happen here.”
Adia Hansen, a nursing student and Students Against Sexual Assault club vice president, said that especially in Utah, people don’t talk about how big of a problem it is.
“The statistics speak for themselves,” Cleveland said.
Hansen said in a world without sexual assault she would feel a lot safer and more respected. As a young woman, Hansen said she is nervous to go running by herself or go on a walk at night, and these are things nobody should have to worry about.
“I’m just really excited to have this topic talked about,” Heimuli said. “I hope people show up and show support.”