Sexual Assault Awareness Month kicks off on SIU campus - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Sexual Assault Awareness Month kicks off on SIU campus

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and The Women's Center  kicked off the month-long effort this week at Southern Illinois University.

SIU students learned more about the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses Wednesday outside Faner Hall.

Advocates spoke with students and urged them to sign a pledge to end sexual violence on college campuses.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in 16 men are assaulted while attending college, and more than 90 percent of those assaults are never reported to police.

A 2014 U.S. Senate Subcommittee found 40 percent of colleges and universities reported not investigating a single sexual assault in the previous five years.

Advocates from The Women's Center worked to get out the message to students that sexual violence is never the victim's fault, and that sex crimes should be reported. It does not matter what someone is wearing or doing, whether they have been drinking, or what type of relationship the victim has with the person. If there's no consent, it is sexual assault.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center defines sexual violence as forcing or coercing someone into unwanted sexual activity without their agreement or consent.

The Women's Center has many events planned throughout the month of April to raise awareness about sexual assault not only on college campuses, but throughout the community.

You can help spread the word on social media by tagging your posts with #SAAM through the month of April.

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