Voices Against Violence Events to Raise Public Awareness About Sexual Assault

Voices Against Violence, a program of the Counseling and Mental Health Center at The University of Texas at Austin, has organized a series of events on campus during April in recognition of national Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The series begins with "Take Back the Night" on April 6, an event that invites the public to the university's Main Mall from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. to help raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual violence in the community and its impact on everyone. The event will include spoken-word performances and an open-microphone platform for survivors and allies, followed by a march across campus and a commemorative candlelight vigil to honor survivors and their stories.

Jane Bost, associate director of the Counseling and Mental Health Center, said the series provides opportunities for survivors and supporters to come together, speak out and work toward putting an end to sexual assault and abuse.

Programs in the series open to the university's students, faculty and staff will include interactive theater performances, workshops designed to foster strength, empowerment and connection among survivors of sexual violence and allies dedicated to making their communities safer and a campus art exhibition exploring the experiences of sexual violence survivors, as well as the importance of bystanders in preventing sexual violence. These programs include:

  • April 7 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. - "Red Light!," a public theatre in dialogue interactive performance sponsored by Kappa Delta Chi. The location of the event will be announced later.
  • April 13 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Student Services Building G1.310 - "Un-Masking the Silence," a mask-making workshop sponsored by the Voices Against Violence student organization that encourages participants to un-mask the silence that enables sexual violence on this campus and beyond.
  • April 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Calhoun 100 - "Using Theater for Community Change," a public Theatre for Dialogue interactive performance sponsored by the Department of Theater and Dance.
  • April 18-22 in the Gregory Gym Concourse - "The Pantyline Project," an art display designed to raise awareness about the experiences of survivors of sexual violence, the dynamics that enable and sustain sexual assault and abuse, as well as the power of community members to prevent and help put an end to acts of sexual violence.
  • April 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., in the Student Activity Center's Black Box Theatre - "Bro Code Revised," a workshop, sponsored by the Voices Against Violence student organization and featuring SafePlace Community Educator Marlon Bailey, that aims to unite men to take a stand against violence.
  • April 28 from 7-9 p.m. in the Will C. Hogg Building 1.120 "Stand Up, Speak Out!," a public theater for dialogue interactive performance sponsored by Voices Against Violence.

More information about Voices Against Violence is available at www.cmhc.utexas.edu/vav.html or by contacting Peggy Whilde at 512-471-3515.