UW-Stout News Story

Take Back the Night one of 11 sexual assault awareness projects

April 16, 2012

One in five women will experience sexual assault by their early 20s. In an effort to help stop that problem, a class at University of Wisconsin-Stout is taking proactive steps during April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The class, Abuse and the Family — part of the human development and family studies undergraduate program — is organizing 11 projects and events.

“The theme this year is 'It’s Time to Talk about It.' We encourage every person to speak out when witnessing acts of violence however small, and particularly men. Men are an important part of the solution,” said Associate Professor Susan Wolfgram, who teaches the class.

“There is evidence that we can be successful in reducing sexual violence in our community through prevention, education and increased awareness. We are all stakeholders,” Wolfgram said.

On Thursday, Take Back the Night will be held at The Raw Deal, 544 S. Broadway St., beginning at 6 p.m. It will feature speakers, open mic, a candle-lit vigil and a silent auction of community art to benefit The Bridge to Hope, a domestic violence shelter in Menomonie serving Dunn and Pepin counties.

The event, organized by student Hilary Olson, of Whitehall, is co-sponsored by the UW-Stout Campus Violence Prevention Project.

Take Back the Night speakers will include artists who displayed original works related to sexual assault during the first two weeks of April in Menomonie stores. Art from the Window Pains project will be auctioned, with proceeds also going to Bridge to Hope. The student project manager for Window Pains is Saran Denzin, of Ripon.

Other class projects are:

The Clothesline Project: T-shirts with messages about sexual assault and statistics are on display throughout the month, including through Wednesday at Legacy Chocolates, 643 Broadway St. S.; Thursday, The Raw Deal; Friday through Sunday, Acoustic Café, 102 Main St. W.; and April 23-30, Bowman Hall at UW-Stout. The student project manager is Cecily Evans, of Edina, Minn.

Operation Prom Dress: On March 23 at Keyes Chevrolet, a used prom dress sale was held to raise money for the Bridge to Hope and to help educate teens about sexual assault. The student project manager was Samantha Schneider, of Holcombe.

Media Blitz: Students wrote letters to the editor and created a video with Bridge to Hope that will be released on YouTube. The group also handed out materials at the Memorial Student Center and hopes to reach all students with an electronic mailing. The project manager is Cheryl Fricke, of Eau Claire.

Six interactive presentations focusing on healthy relationships will be made this month. The locations and student managers are:

•  Dunn County Jail; Melissa Prine, Hillsdale

•  Eau Claire County Jail: Lauren Randall, Rosemount, Minn.

•  Transitions Center in Eau Claire for ex-offenders: Mai Xia Lao, Menomonie

•  Eau Claire County Juvenile Detention Center: Jerrod Buchholtz, Durand

•  New Richmond High School: Madison Medenwaldt, Abbotsford

•  River Falls High School: Jennifer Anagnos, Wyoming, Minn.

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