Program set to take ‘unique’ approach to sexual assault awareness

Bowling Green, KY – According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, an estimated 54% of sexual assaults go unreported each year. Because of this, a WKU student, with support from collaborating organizations, is planning an event titled Love the Way You Lie set to take place on March 21st, to raise awareness of what do when a person is faced with sexual assault.

“[Sexual assault] happens way too often and people need to be aware of what to do if it happens to them,” said Chantel Batten-Utley, student coordinator of Love the Way You Lie.  Batten-Utley has often supported sexual assault awareness events and understands the importance of awareness. “It is important to show people who have sexually assaulted someone that we are fighting back.”

The event will take place on Thursday, March 21, 2013 in the Downing University Center Auditorium on Western Kentucky University’s campus at 7:00pm. The doors will open at 6:30pm. The evening will feature a speaker from Hope Harbor, the local crisis counseling center. In addition, campus and community members will provide performances such as interpretive dances, songs, poetry, monologues, and skits. Each performance in Love the Way You Lie will raise awareness of sexual assault and highlight ways in which students and community members can make a difference in their everyday lives.

“An event like this is a creative, unique way to increase awareness of sexual violence and its impact on the community,” said Elizabeth Madariaga, staff counselor with WKU’s Counseling and Testing Center.  “It helps to get people talking about a sensitive subject instead of acting like it doesn’t exist.  These events often show different ways for people to recognize what all types of sexual violence there are.”

All students and members of the community are invited to this free event. There will also be resources available during the night of the event that includes important contacts in the community.

The event will be presented with support from WKU’s Student Activities and the WKU ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships in partnership with the Sexual Assault Awareness Month committee.  For more information, contact Crystal Hardeman at crystal.hardeman@wku.edu or Aurelia Spaulding at aurelia.spaulding@wku.edu.

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