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University students plan events for sexual assault prevention and awareness



April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and a group of student educators at the University of Nevada, Reno have organized a series of educational events to help students make safe choices and contribute to a caring and supportive environment throughout the year.

“The goal of Guarded by the Pack is to help prepare and educate every student on campus to be armed with the tools they need to be and stay safe,” Katie Olson, a candidate for a master’s in education at the University and coordinator of the student group of peer educators, said. “This month we aim to raise public awareness about sexual assault and violence as well as to educate communities and individuals on how to take a stand against and prevent all forms of sexual violence.”

Guarded by the Pack is an on-campus, peer-educator program, administered by the University’s Counseling Services Department. Through presentations, workshops, and outreach and advocacy programs, Guarded by the Pack seeks to strengthen and develop comprehensive, coordinated victim- and survivor-awareness services.

“Prevention programs such as Guarded by the Pack and consistent messages will help identify sexual assault and sexual violence as crimes that will not be tolerated at the University campus,” said Shernaaz Webster, intercultural therapist in Counseling Services and a member of the program’s advisory committee.

Campus events planned during April include:

Men Can Stop Rape Training, William J. Raggio Building, Room 2006, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.:
April 3 – Men Can Stop Rape is a national organization that provides campus strength training and support for colleges across the country and engages men to prevent violence against women and practice healthier masculinity. Students must RSVP to Perry Fittrer at [email protected].

Healthy Relationships Faire, Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center lawn, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.:
April 6 – Information and hands-on activities will be available in the topics of safe sex, effective communication, consent, domestic violence and others.

Stand Up Against Sexual Assault Faire, Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center lawn, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.:
April 20 – Abbreviated Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class will be conducted, information will be given on sexual assault prevention, and students will decorate jeans to wear on Denim Day, a campus-wide event on April 21.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, begins at Amendment 21, Downtown Reno, 2 p.m.:
April 24 – Hosted by the Crisis Call Center, men will walk a mile in high heels to help raise money and awareness of sexual assault issues.

Guarded by the Pack relies on the support of a variety of other campus and community organizations, including University Police Services, Campus Escort Services, Student Health Center, Office of Student Conduct, Crisis Call Center and the Reno Police Department’s Victim Services Unit.

For more information about Guarded by the Pack and a list of all upcoming activities and events, visit www.psasap.net or call 775-784-7998. For concerns or questions about personal safety or the safety of others, call 775-784-4648.

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