Roughly one in three women will experience contact sexual violence at some point in their life.
Between one in sixteen and one in seventy-seven men will experience contact sexual violence during their lifetime.
These staggering numbers are just one of the reasons why Walk TU has become a staple to Temple University’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities.
“We want to make sure one – we are creating a safe space for survivors, and two – we are trying to reduce the likelihood that sexual violence is going to occur while here at Temple,” says Liz Zadnick, Assistant Director of Temple’s Wellness Resource Center.
This year, 185 walkers braved the cold and rainy weather to walk almost a mile around Temple’s main campus for Walk TU. Just last year, the event, which used to be called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” was changed to create a more inclusive environment for survivors.
One student, Elizabeth Leer, said she was happy to hear the name was changed in order to erase the stigma around sexual assault.
“I think it was a really good idea so that women can walk too and not just men walking for women,” says Leer.
The route started inside Founder’s Garden, and then continued up Pollet Walk. After marching along Broad to Cecil, the walk wrapped back down 12th Street, past the Bell Tower, and back to Founder’s Garden.
This year’s keynote speaker, Chimi Boyd-Keyes, M.A., spoke about how a friend’s daughter was sexually assaulted, and that’s how she began her work to end sexual violence. She also hosted a leadership workshop and a community presentation to shed light on sexual violence and prevention.
The Wellness Resource Center plans to mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) with multiple events, including Denim Day, free STD testing, and the annual Clothesline Project, which has been relocated this year to the Bell Tower.
For more information on how to prevent sexual assault and what you can do to help someone or yourself, check out Temple’s Wellness Resource Center website.