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Awareness Events

Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence and Stalking Awareness

College Challenges
A program that every new student at UMM is required to participate in.  The program addresses sexual violence, consent, alcohol and drug use, relationship violence and stalking.  The program is presented by the Violence Prevention Program, Peer Health Educators, Students, Staff and Community Volunteers.  The program is offered at the beginning of each semester (see Orientation Leader or contact the VPP Coordinator for date and time of presentation).

Take Back The Night (TBTN) 
TBTN is a yearly event hosted by the Women’s Resource Center and co-sponsored by other campus and community organizations.  TBTN is an event that unites all people in speaking out against relationship violence and sexual violence against women and children.  It first began in Belgium in 1976 as a candlelight vigil, where women, after the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women, came together to publicly express their horror and intolerance of the atrocities committed.  From there, TBTN has spread across Europe, America and the world, with the intent to break the silence that has often surrounded violence against women and children.  For three decades, people have joined together to Take Back the Night, in order to honor, empower, and educate the people of the world.  This yearly event consists of a program (focusing on the reason for TBTN, and presentations on resources available to the campus and community relating to relationship and sexual violence), the march (participants march through the streets of Morris declaring the solidarity among people with a common goal to end violence), and a Speak Out (a supportive environment for those survivors and secondary survivors that choose to share their experiences).

Domestic Violence (Relationship Violence) Awareness Month
Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first Day of Unity observed in October, 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect battered women’s advocates across the nation who are working to end violence against women and their children.  October is a designated time when a range of activities are conducted at the local, state, and national levels to raise awareness against domestic violence. These activities were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors but had common themes: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence.  In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed.  Domestic violence occurs more then 31 days a year so it is important to note that awareness of domestic violence needs to be addressed continually.

Stalking Awareness Month
 In 2004, January was designated as National Stalking Awareness Month in recognition of the reality of stalking in the lives of so many women and men. “Stalking” is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause her/him to feel and live in fear.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), April brings an annual opportunity to focus awareness on sexual violence and its prevention.  It is also an opportunity to highlight the efforts of individuals and agencies that provide rape crisis intervention and prevention services while offering support to sexual assault survivors, victims and their families.  SAAM raises awareness of sexual violence and its prevention through special events while highlighting sexual violence as a major public health issue and reinforces the need for prevention efforts.  It is important to remember that sexual violence occurs more than 30 days in a year so it is important to note that like domestic violence awareness needs to be addressed continually.

*Note:  Domestic Violence, Stalking and Sexual Violence all have designated months in which days are set aside to promote awareness it is however important to note that there is a need to be aware that violence occurs everyday and violence prevention needs to happen continuously.

Vagina Monologues
The Vagina Monologues is made up of a varying number of monologues read by a varying number of women. Eve Ensler wrote the first draft of the monologues in 1996 following interviews she conducted with 200 women about their views on sex, relationships, and violence against women. The interviews began as casual conversations with her friends, who then brought up anecdotes they themselves had been told by other friends; this began a continuing chain of referrals.  Every monologue somehow relates to the vagina, be it through sex, love, rape, menstruation, mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, the variety of names for the vagina, or simply as a physical aspect of the female body. A recurring theme throughout the piece is the vagina as a tool of female empowerment, and the ultimate embodiment of individuality.