University News

September Commemorated as National Campus Safety Awareness Month

September 19, 2013

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University's Interpersonal Violence Prevention Iniative (IVPI), along with campus and community partners, have planned a variety of events as part of September's National Campus Safety Awareness Month.

Wednesday, Sept. 25 is "PAVE Day of Action" on college campuses across the country, sponsored by PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment, a non-profit group that raises awareness of sexual violence. Thursday, Sept. 26 is "RAINN Day," a national day of action sponsored by the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network. Resource tables with information about campus safety, domestic/dating violence, sexual assault and stalking will be available in the University Union Concourse from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. both days.

According to IVPI Project Director Janine Cavicchia, this National Day of Action focuses on prevention of sexual assault and raising awareness of the high level of under reporting by victims of these crimes and is designed to empower students, as bystanders, to make changes in their campus environment and encourage justice for victims. WIU is one of more than 1,000 college campuses across America participating in RAINN Day.

On Monday, Sept. 30, the IVPI and Feminist Action Alliance will hold a screening and discussion of "It Was Rape," a documentary by Jennifer Baumgardner, at 7 p.m. in the Multicultural Center Board Room.

"Rape is wrong, illegal, reprehensible—and yet still tragically common," said Baumgardner. "In this film, eight women tell their diverse personal stories of sexual assault, from a Midwestern teenager trying alcohol for the first time to a Native American woman gradually coming to terms with her abusive childhood. Gripping and emotional, this film is an opportunity to empathize with people—not just absorb faceless statistics—and to puncture the silence and denial that allow sexual assault to thrive. Ultimately, these stories shed light on how this epidemic affects us all."

Planning meetings for the annual Take Back the Night (TBTN) march and rally to end power-based interpersonal violence will be held Thursdays Sept. 19 and 26, and Oct. 3 and 10 from 5-6 p.m. in the Women's Center's Center Lounge on the first floor of the Multicultural Center. This year's TBTN event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., beginning on the steps of Sherman Hall.

Throughout September, OPS campus police officers, in partnership with University Housing and Dining Services, are posting campus safety information on residence hall floors and in graduate and family housing. Throughout the year, OPS provides prevention programming to student groups, residence hall floor members and faculty and staff on topics including personal safety, sexual assault, domestic violence and alcohol and other drugs.

Cavicchia said this year's First Year Experience University 100 course addressed the issue of campus safety during the third week of classes, which was Sept. 3-6.

"All first-year students are required, and all students, faculty and staff are encouraged, to take an online Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education (IVPE) program designed to help people recognize the many different forms of domestic/dating violence, sexual assault and stalking," Cavicchia said. "The online module provides important tips on prevention, risk reduction and how to obtain medical, counseling, and police/judicial resources and assistance when an incident does occur." Cavicchia added that anyone with a WIU ECOM account may login in and take the IVPE online module at

As a follow-up to the University 100 classes, a program titled "Deconstructing the Hookup and Healthy Relationships" will be presented again on Thursday, Oct. 3 and Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 6-7:30 p.m. in Horrabin Hall, room 44. These programs are sponsored by IVPI partners Beu Health Center's Students T.A.L.K., the Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men's Development (CSMMD) and the University Counseling Center (UCC).

Western's IVPI currently is funded by a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) to help further reduce incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

For more information about these events or the WIU commemoration of the awareness month, contact IVP Graduate Assistant Chanel Lane at (309) 298-2433, email or visit and

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