CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University will host Silent No More Week to encourage community members to speak up against sexual violence and help individuals realize personal responsibilities to end sexual violence.
The week is part of WCU’s Red Zone campaign and is hosted in cooperation with the WCU Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. The “red zone” refers to the period of time when students are most at risk of unwanted sexual experiences, and the WCU Department of Intercultural Affairs is coordinating Red Zone activities sponsored by associated departments and organizations across campus.
During Silent No More Week, scheduled for Monday, Sept. 22, through Friday, Sept. 26, students will be encouraged to discuss “red flags” or signs of unhealthy relationships, the cycle of violence, the effects of victimization and the power and importance of speaking out against sexual violence.
On Sept. 22, the film “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” will be screened on the lawn of A.K. Hinds University and followed by a discussion. The rain site will be the lounge of the Department of Intercultural Affairs on the third floor of the University Center.
Then on Tuesday, Sept. 23, a panel discussion centered on the effects of victimization and sexual violence will be held in the University Center’s Multipurpose Room at 6:30 p.m. Panelists include Karen Arias, a bilingual victim advocate and outreach coordinator for the 30th Judicial District Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Alliance; Mickey Randolph, professor of psychology; Cyndy Hughes, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice; Marilyn Chamberlin, associate professor of anthropology and sociology; and Rebecca Lasher, assistant professor of social work.
Events continue on Wednesday, Sept. 24, with the screening of “Brave Miss World,” the first film in a series called V.I.E.W.S., which stands for Voicing Injustices Experienced Without Shame, at 7 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room.
Throughout the week, an art exhibit intended to start conversations about sexual violence and the journey from being a victim to a survivor will be featured in the Star Lobby of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.
Also, informational boards and resources will be posted on the University Center lawn.
In addition, members of the campus community will be encouraged to carry their pillows to raise awareness of sexual violence and date rape, and to highlight the importance of the ideas that beds should be a safe haven rather than a place of fear, said Sarah Carter, associate director of resource services for the Department of Intercultural Affairs.
All Silent No More Week events are free and open to the public.