Sexual assault workshop educates, raises awareness

On Sept. 20, the Howard Baker Public Policy Center held S.E.A.T, the club for Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee, which hosted a Red Zone Bye Week Workshop. They attempted to raise awareness about the Red Zone, which is the time from the beginning of the school year to Thanksgiving break during which college students are most likely to be sexually assaulted.

The LGBT OUTreach table during the Workshop's lunch break. /Photo by Donald Black.
The LGBT OUTreach table during the Workshop’s lunch break. /Photo by Donald Black.

Attendants of the workshop had their choice between seven seminars, with topics ranging from sexual consent to abusive relationships. Attendants also had the opportunity to talk with organizations like Planned Parenthood and the UTPD

during their lunch, which was provided for free to anyone that registered ahead of time.

For Nickie Hackenbrack, a fourth year student in Biology and S.E.A.T. Executive Board Member, the goal of this event is to “change the conversation about sexual assault from response to prevention” as well as to “train more people about what consent and being an active bystander are.”

RED Zone Table. / Photo by Donald Black.
RED Zone Table. / Photo by Donald Black.

Although this event has been planned since the summer, Hackenbrack is glad that the emails about the sexual assaults that have taken place on campus have raised awareness and concern over the issue.

“One out of four college women have or will be sexually assaulted,” said Jill Akin, a representative from the Sexual Assault Center for East Tennessee. “And it’s not always the scary person in the bushes either, 73% of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows,” Akin continued.

Akin goes on to describe the continuum of sexual violence, saying that all sexual violence “starts with our attitudes and our morals, in how we talk about and treat women.”

One can only hope that events like this will help to change, or at least start a conversation.

If you are interested in learning more information about S.E.A.T, sex week or the Red Zone, click here or attend one of the weekly S.E.A.T meetings on Thursdays at 8 p.m. in HSS 104.

Edited by Ryan McGill 

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