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April 2009

Release Date: April 7, 2009ASU Logo

ASU Sets Events to Raise Awareness of Sexual Assault

Angelo State University will conduct a series of events in April to bring attention to Sexual Assault Awareness/Prevention Month.

The month’s activities are centered on “Denim Day,” Wednesday, April 22, as proclaimed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Participating ASU personnel are encouraged to wear jeans that adhere to professional appearance guidelines on that day to take a stand against sexual assault.

“Denim Day” is designed to bring awareness to an Italian high court decision that overturned a sexual assault conviction. In 1992, an 18-year-old in Italy was raped on the side of the road by her driving instructor. In an appeal of the instructor’s conviction, the court held that since the victim wore very tight jeans, the instructor could not have removed them himself, so the victim must have willingly participated.

Women in the Italian legislature protested the decision by wearing jeans. As news of the decision spread, so did the protest, which has evolved into “Denim Day.”

ASU activities will begin April 13-15 with the Clothesline Project. T-shirts, painter’s caps and aprons painted by victims of violence will be displayed in the Houston Harte University Center, 1910 Rosemont Drive. The exhibit will be open for public viewing from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

On Tuesday April 14, ASU will host a Sexual Assault Awareness/Prevention Conference starting at 3 p.m. in the University Center. The conference is open free to the public.

Speaking in the first segment will be Abilene Police Officer Lee Reed and psychologist Jason Dunham. Dunham, a licensed psychologist working in forensic psychological evaluation, will speak on sex offender profiles and management. Dunham, who is one of Texas’ top sexual perpetrator profilers, will draw from his extensive case-study files.

Reed will discuss sex offenders’ use of MySpace and other social networking sites. He has worked in the APD Youth Division and Missing Persons since 1979, and is a nationally recognized expert in missing children, missing persons and juvenile law.

After the presentations, Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity members will arrive at the University Center at 5:45 p.m. for “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” after walking in high heels from the Junell Center/Stephens Arena on South Jackson. The demonstration is to highlight the difficulties women and victims encounter to receive help and to assist men to gain a better understanding and appreciation of women’s experience.

At 6 p.m., Paul Buckingham, sexual assault response coordinator at Goodfellow Air Force Base, will present “Target Hardening and Bystander Prevention,” which details how to avoid being a victim and how bystanders can help someone in need, even if they don’t know they are in danger.

Buckingham has worked full time in the mental health field since 1985 and in the domestic violence and sexual assault area for more than 13 years.

Wende Hilsenrod, a drug and alcohol counselor, trained community mediator and a certified Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) instructor, will follow Buckingham at 7:30 p.m. with a presentation on “Alcohol and Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault.”

Hilsenrod will present training on substance abuse sexual assault, the prevalence of it in the Concho Valley, how it happens and how to prevent it.

The conference programs are sponsored by the University Counseling Services, Residential Programs and the ASU Police Department in conjunction with the Rape Crisis Center of the Concho Valley. Participants can earn social work Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and law enforcement certifications.

The month’s activities will wrap up April 22-24, when participants will line up 1,871 pairs of shoes between the ASU Porter Henderson Library and the University Center to represent every person sexually assaulted per day in Texas. Posters with facts about sexual assault will also be displayed.

For more information on the various activities, call Cleave Pool in the ASU Counseling Center at 942-2171 or Dallas Swafford in the Residential Programs Office at 942-2635.