USA HEART Project and ‘It’s on Us’ Spring Week of Action
Posted on April 1, 2022
The HEART Project (Promoting Health, Empowerment, And Recovery from Trauma) of South Alabama invites the University of South Alabama community to participate in activities being held in concurrence with It’s On Us Spring Week of Action taking place April 4-8 in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. All events and activities are free and open to the public, other than those designated student-only.
HEART’s week of activities and events will serve as a critical reminder that everyone should play an active role in preventing interpersonal violence, which includes sexual assault, relationship abuse, stalking and sexual harassment.
“Given an estimated 13 percent of all college students, 28 percent of female undergraduates and 23 percent of gender non-conforming undergraduates, will experience sexual assault during college, we must come together as a community to prevent what is possible and support those victim-survivors who have been affected by sexual violence,” said USA Heart Project Director Dr. Candice Selwyn.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, April 8, at the Student Health Center to announce the location of HEART. One of the first main events being held is “Stop the Silence: Survivors Speak Out” to be held from 7-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5, at the Student Center Ballroom. This is a student-only event. You can follow HEART on Instagram @uofsouthal_heart.
“We’re incredibly excited to be hosting a week of events geared at raising awareness about sexual assault and supporting our student victim-survivors,” Selwyn said. “Our main event, “Stop the Silence: Survivors Speak Out,” will be an opportunity for student victim-survivors to share their story and invite allies to support them.”
Selwyn said professional counselors and advocates have been invited to support students who have been personally affected by sexual assault.
“This is a completely voluntary event, and we ask that students who attend be respectful and supportive throughout the process,” Selwyn noted. “Confidential faculty and staff have also been invited to support students. This is otherwise a student-only event. We will have advocates and counselors available to support any students who may be upset by the material and hope to encourage students to seek help if they need it. HEART is here to help students who have experienced sexual assault no matter when or where the assault took place.”
Selwyn and the HEART Project’s Multidisciplinary Team will support students who want to share their stories anonymously. To submit their stories electronically, they should complete this form.
In addition, students who would like to share their stories at the event can receive support in advance as they prepare their stories by speaking with an advocate. Students who want to be connected with an advocate should complete this form.
It’s On Us was founded in 2014 as a White House Initiative to change the culture of campus sexual assault.
The HEART Project was made possible through a nearly $500,000 grant from the Office of Justice Programs’ Office for Victims of Crime.
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