Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Each year, April is dedicated to raising awareness about sexual assault and all forms of gender-based violence, including stalking and domestic violence. To increase awareness about this issue, prevent future crimes, and aid victims, SPU participates in National Sexual Assault Awareness Month as part of this national campaign. This year the Office of Safety and Security has a special emphasis on how you can engage in this topic virtually.


Virtual Book Display – The Ames Library has created a library guide that serves as a virtual display of book titles and available e-books related to the issues of gender based violence.

Be Familiar with Support Resources – Review the Gender-Based Violence Community Resource Guide for campus, local and national informational resources and links to support services. Download the Guide

Watch A Webinar – learn about the Neurobiology of Sexual Assault and the effect trauma has on victim behavior, presented by Rebecca Campbell, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Michigan State University.

Post a Photo on Denim Day – April 29th is a nationally recognized day in which people are encouraged to wear denim in order to protest the misconceptions that surround sexual assault. This annual, national day of awareness encourages participants to wear jeans or other denim clothing as symbols of believing survivors and not blaming them for sexual assault based on what they were wearing at the time. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network is sponsoring a virtual Denim Day event. Follow RAINN’s TwitterInstagram, and Facebook to get updates and post your own #DenimDay photo in solidarity.

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, harassment; teach sensitivity regarding victim/survivor experience, and promote a healthy culture and mindset that prevents these crimes from occurring. Contact  to register or log in to Canvas to access the class.

Seek Help – Social distancing due to COVID-19 can exacerbate the potential for domestic violence and cyberstalking. Avoiding public spaces and working remotely can help to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but for many survivors, staying home may not be the safest option. Isolation and financial strain can negatively impact survivors and create circumstances where their safety is further compromised. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline via text or call at 1-800-799-7233. You can also contact 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with the National Sexual Telephone Hotline.

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

The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault

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.