Students and faculty slipped on their stilettos for the fifth annual “Hike the Hill in Heels” on April 1. This event kicked off Sexual Assault Awareness Month at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, along with the school’s annual Sex Week.
Event organizers encouraged individuals and teams to wear matching uniforms. Heels were optional, but they created a fun challenge for participants. The walk began in front of the Humanities and Social Sciences Building and concluded at Ayres Hall. This event brings awareness to sexual assault victims.
Students reported nine rapes in UT residence halls during the 2018-2019 academic year, according to Knox News. Specifically, two rape reports were filed against a Phi Gamma Delta member this past February. According to Knox News, the fraternity members were under disciplinary probation and are still under social probation. The accused member has since then moved out of the Phi Gamma Delta house. Overall, from March 2018 to February 2019, 15 documented rapes occurred on or near the UT campus.
UT sophomore Callie Williams hiked the hill for the second year. She said she was happy to see all members of the community come together for this issue that has impacted so many.
“It’s always a great experience to raise awareness for sexual violence and sexual assault,” Williams said. “Seeing a variety of members from UT getting out there to support this prominent issue is extremely empowering and important for all women, but especially for women on this campus.”
UT encourages students, faculty and staff to download LiveSafe. LiveSafe is the new campus safety app that UT introduced this year. Through LiveSafe, users are able to connect with various resources. For example: UTPD, Title IX office and the Student Health Center. Additionally, LiveSafe offers several ways of communication. The app allows texting, calling or sending pictures when a situation arises. UT wants to make it easy for students to communicate with officers in a timely manner.
“Hike the Hill in Heels” was just one of the many events to take place this April.
To find out more information about getting involved, check out UT’s other sexual assault awareness events.
Edited by Lauren Claxton and Grace Goodacre
Featured image by Rosina’s Heels, courtesy of Creative Commons