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April 8, 2021

Northwest raising awareness of sexual assault in April

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Northwest Missouri State University is raising awareness of sexual assault this month and will host its annual Take Back the Night event at 5 p.m. Friday, April 9, at the Memorial Bell Tower.

The event creates awareness and provides critical information about resources and reporting to reaffirm the University’s commitment to sexual assault community safety.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is observed each April to raise awareness of sexual assault through education and programming to prevent sexual violence. It calls attention to nationwide concern that sexual violence is widespread, requiring constant and consistent action, and provides an opportunity to understand the experiences of survivors who have endured the trauma of sexual assault.

“Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a time for victims to feel additionally empowered to report sexual assault and begin the journey to reclaim their life,” Will Sabio, Northwest’s assistant vice president for Title IX and Equity, said. “We highly encourage sexual assault reporting to University Police or Title IX and Equity for any action that makes our community feel uncomfortable, and to receive options for support resources. SAAM is also a time to reaffirm vigilance to caution in social situations.”

Northwest demonstrates a commitment to sexual assault prevention and response through its Wellness Services, University Police, and Title IX and Equity areas.

In addition to its Take Back the Night event, Wellness Services is offering Green Dot bystander intervention training for students from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 17. The training helps students identify the warning signs of violence – known as red dots; it examines barriers to intervening and offers three intervention strategies students can use.

On Wednesday, April 28, Northwest students and employees are invited to wear denim in recognition of Denim Day, an annual event dedicated to raising awareness of rape and sexual assault.

Last fall, Northwest’s Police Department became the recipient of a three-year, $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women to advance efforts aimed at preventing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking while helping survivors of those incidents. The grant also covers the costs of a project director working in the University Police Department and a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) affiliated with local health care provider Mosaic Life Care.

Additionally, the University requires all students and employees to participate in an annual online Title IX training to maintain compliance and educate its community about sexual harassment.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704