April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year, the national theme is “I Ask” to highlight the importance of consent. Organizations in the Bloomington-Normal area will hold various events to help spread awareness of the issue.
Songs for the Strong April 5
The YWCA Stepping Stones of McLean County will hold their first event in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month at 5 p.m. at The Bistro on 316 North Main St. in Bloomington.
Songs for the Strong will feature music from local artists, have drink specials, hors d’oeuveres and 50/50 raffles. Stepping Stones will be accepting donations.
Clothesline Project April 6
The Clothesline Project will be on display from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Uptown Normal.
The Project is a visual display of the violence inflicted upon women. Each shirt is decorated by a local survivor and it represents a part of their experience.
Day of Silence April 12
Students Ending Rape Culture, Health Promotion and Wellness and Student Wellness Ambassador Team will host their Day of Silence event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Schroeder Plaza.
Participants will remain silent to help end discrimination of the LGBTQ community.
The event is being held in representation of the people silenced and harassed. Students can stop by SERC’s table to receive their Day of Silence Cards to hand out to explain their silent protest.
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes April 13
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes will start at 11 a.m. in Uptown Normal.
The goal of the event is to raise awareness about sexual violence and to improve gender relationships and appreciation for women’s experiences.
YWCA is seeking men to participate in the event. Those who wish to participate can register at www.ywcamclean.org/walkamile2019.
For those participating, check-in begins at 10:30 a.m.
Take Back the Night April 25
To close off the month, the YWCA will hold Take Back the Night at 6 p.m. at the McLean County Museum of History on 200 N. Main St. in Bloomington.
Participants will march through downtown Bloomington to help raise awareness for sexual violence and to support survivors in their healing process.
The event will also feature speakers and a candlelight vigil.
Communicating Consent April 24
“Communicating Consent: In the Bedroom and Beyond” will be from 6 to 8 p.m. in Schroeder Hall, Room 244.
SERC, Health Promotion and Wellness and SWAT will hold an interactive workshop to highlight how consent is about choice and VOICE (voluntary, ongoing, informed, clear and enthusiastic).
Consent Day April 30
Illinois State University’s University Program will give student, faculty and staff the opportunity to participate in Consent Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Quad.
Attendees can learn more about how to empower themselves to communicate consent, take a pledge to commit to consent and learn how to help end sexual violence.
Participating organizations include Acacia, The Movement, Pride, SERC, Student Government Association, SWAT and Women in Business.