Centre College’s Students for Prevention Education & Advocacy in the Community (SPEAC) is sponsoring a Sexual Violence Prevention & Awareness convocation with Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in Newlin Hall in the Norton Center for the Arts.
Beshear will give a keynote about how sexual violence touches college campuses, as well as speaking about his work and how he’s fighting for survivors of sexual assault and rape.
Title IX Deputy Coordinator Sarah Curry said Beshear will talk about discovering a backlog of more than 3,000 untested rape kits in Kentucky and why his work to ensure that these rape kits get tested matter. He will also discuss why this is a community issue and what people can do to change the numbers around sexual violence to start making everyone safer.
“I applaud Centre students, faculty and campus organizations for lending their voices to raise greater awareness of campus sexual assault,” Beshear said. “By discussing the scope of these crimes that impact nearly one in five women and one in 16 men attending college in Kentucky, we are building a culture that encourages victims to feel safe in coming forward to report and where students can confidently speak out and intervene.”
Following the keynote speech, Dina Badie, assistant professor of politics and international studies, will facilitate a talk-show style Q&A discussion with Beshear.
In addition to Beshear, President John A. Roush will speak on why sexual violence prevention and awareness is important to him as Centre’s president. He will also share different ways the College is growing a caring community committed to addressing sexual misconduct and ensuring students feel safe where they work, live and study.
According to Curry, it’s important to have these conversations so the topic of sexual violence becomes destigmatized, and students feel comfortable coming forward and getting the help they need.
“We know we can make a difference when it comes to sexual assault, dating/domestic violence and stalking by becoming active bystanders in the Centre community,” she said.
The convocation is open to, and is for, everyone in the Centre community.
Curry said the purpose of the event is to make sure students know about Title IX resources at Centre and to share information about why it’s important to report misconduct. The objective is also to discuss barriers that impact survivors being able to seek help, talk about why this is an issue for the Centre community, lift up proactive things happening on campus and get students to take action.
After this event, Curry hopes people walk away wanting to do something more around this issue, knowing they can make a difference with small actions.
“They don’t have to become a SPEAC member or make sexual violence prevention their whole life, but I’d like them to come away willing to step up in small ways in their personal life,” she concluded.
Learn more about Centre’s Title IX Committee and its sexual misconduct policy.
by Kerry Steinhofer
October 30, 2017