Sexual Assault Awareness Month speakers and events


Photo by Mallary Vasquez

A teal ribbon wrapped across a tree next to the pavilion on campus for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Title IX office placed the ribbon in hopes of promoting awareness along with activities and other speakers

Mallary Vasquez

The Title IX Office is hosting events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month throughout April with guest speakers visiting the campus on April 26 at 1 p.m. in Evans Commons room 3020.

“Next week we will have another speaker on Tuesday, it’s actually a mother-daughter duo, the daughter is a Lindenwood Alum, and they are from an outside resource that we call Bridgeway,” Title IX Equity Officer Paula Stewart said.

Mallory and Mary Jones are the speakers set to be at the event. Mallory is the Bridgeway Sexual Assault Volunteer Coordinator and Data Manager who graduated from Lindenwood University in the fall of 2021 with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology and Mary is the Relations and Engagement Manager for Bridgeway Health.

“We’re going to be doing a little bit of domestic violence 101, dating violence, and then also sexual assault and sexual violence,” Mallory said. “April is sexual assault awareness month and we really want to reach out to communities and talk about these really important issues because unfortunately, they’re very under-talked about.”

Mallory said that she hopes the discussion will help raise awareness on the topic so that people realize it is not shameful and that they should never suffer alone. The pair will also be sharing statistics on the topic such as when assaults are most common.

“There are actually interesting statistics of sexual assault. 50% of all college sexual assault takes place in the fall semester,” Mallory said, “but it is an interesting correlational research statistic that most sexual assaults happen in the fall semester. Why that is, we don’t know, so that is something interesting and noteworthy.”

The organization, Bridgeway, aims to offer sexual assault response teams and Mallory said it is also hosting fundraisers while also looking for volunteers and practicum students. Bridgeway is currently holding its Mother’s Day Cards Project and plans to host a Star Wars-themed 5k run on May 6 with invites on their Facebook page after the pair speak on April 26.

According to a campus-wide email from the Title IX office, attendees who come to next week’s guest speaker event are automatically entered into a drawing for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.

“We are going to have the speaker in Evans in the Multipurpose Room, which is room 3020, and that’s going to be Tuesday, April 26 at 1 p.m.,” Stewart said about the upcoming event.

Stewart said that this is the second event of the month with a guest speaker. She said that on April 12, the director of gateway human trafficking center talked about how to identify sex trafficking and how to be an active bystander.  

Stewart, who helps coordinate the events with the Title IX office, said there are several activities throughout the month of April that are open for all students and staff to participate in. Some events and promotions include Wear-Jeans on Tuesday’s, teal ribbons throughout the campus grounds, and the clothesline project. 

“The events are open, it’s a come and go atmosphere. We understand that these events may be triggering to some that are in the audience so we do have a counseling center that’s going to provide a counselor there if they feel like they want to talk to one of them that will be available,” Stewart said. 

Stewart also added that the office will be providing resources during the events for those who may need them.

During the guest speaker event April 26, the office also plans to hold its own version of The Clothesline Project.

“The clothesline project started on the east coast years ago through T-shirts. Each t-shirt represented the story of a sexual assault of somebody and it really just grew. The version that we’re doing is a little bit smaller because this is kind of the first year that (the Title IX Office) is doing it,” Stewart said.

Stewart said the event will be held on the bottom floor of the LARC. Colored index cards will be provided for survivors of sexual assault to share their stories and place them on the clothesline along with any other necessary supplies, with the clothesline visible throughout the last week of April.

“Unfortunately, we know that sexual abuse does not happen to only one group of people, there’s no gender, race, or socioeconomic status that is exempt from that. We just want to highlight those stories and show that those survivors are not alone,” Stewart said. 

The Title IX office is located in LARC 209 and Stewart says the office is there as a resource for students and staff to voice questions or concerns by calling or stopping by. She also says the office is willing to partner with student or staff groups wanting to work on an event with the office as well as any necessary training.