The Elephant In The Room: Sexual violence is too big an issue to ignore

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). According to the Centers for Disease Control "sexual violence is a serious public health problem affecting the health and well-being of millions of individuals each year, with notably high rates among College students." At SPU, we are committed to creating a safe and healthy educational and workplace environment for all.  By promoting safe behaviors, thoughtful policies and healthy relationships, we can create safe and equitable communities where every person is treated with respect.

If April is particularly activating for you, please reach out to the Student Counseling Center at

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) Events for 2019

Book Display – During April the Library will display book titles related to gender based violence. Informational brochures will also be provided.

Clothesline Project – April 15th to 26th, displayed in Martin Square. T-shirts, designed by SPU students, serve as a way to educate and unite the community against sexual assault and gender-based violence.

The Elephant in the Room – April 15th to 26th, Martin Square, weekdays from 10:00am to 6:00pm. A life-size elephant will be on display. Our community is welcome to write words of support and encouragement on the elephant throughout the scheduled times. Ribbons and pamphlets will also be available for students who want to know more about consent, bystander intervention, and support resources.

Denim Day – April 24th is a nationally recognized day in which people are encouraged to wear jeans (denim) in order to protest the misconceptions that surround sexual assault. “Ask Me Why I’m Wearing Denim” buttons will be available at the Office of Safety and Security and in Martin Square at the Elephant in the Room display.

Online Gender Based Violence Prevention Fundamentals – This online training will be made available to all faculty, staff and students. This program covers important topics such as students’ rights and responsibilities; preventing sexual violence, dating violence, stalking, and harassment; sensitivity regarding victim/survivor experience; and promoting a culture that helps prevent these crimes from occurring. Contact securityinfo@spu.eduto register or log in to Canvas to access the class.

The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault

In this webinar recording Dr. Rebecca Campbell discusses the neurobiology of sexual assault and the effect trauma has on victim behavior. Her work examines how rape crisis centers and the legal, medical, and mental health systems respond to the needs of adult, adolescent, and pediatric victims of sexual assault. A transcript of the webinar is also available.

Why many rape victims don’t fight or yell

By Jim Hopper, Ph.D., Washington Post Article, June 23, 2015

Dr. Hopper, part-time instructor in psychology at Cambridge Health Alliance, authored this article about why people don’t always respond to an attack the way others might expect.