(Rock Hill, S.C.) — Winthrop University students participated in a campaign intended to raise awareness of sexual assault on campus, which took place last month on the campus green.
Students placed small red flags on the lawn outside of the DiGiorgio Campus Center and each of the flags represented a potential sexual assault that could happen on campus.
It was part of the national “Red Zone” event that is put on by the group PAVE, or Promoting Awareness and Victim Empowerment, which advocates for the survivors of sexual assault.
According to PAVE, the “Red Zone” is the time frame between mid-August and Thanksgiving break when more than 50% of sexual assaults occur on college campuses.
The group says “this time frame coincides with parties to celebrate the return to campus and Greek Life rushing,” when younger students, who “have limited education on sexual violence and consent” are entering campus life for the first time.
“We’re doing this campaign just to bring awareness so that students are aware that in the time frame, that they are starting this school semester, they are in that time frame where those 50% of sexual assaults occur,” said Itali Jackson, head of student advocacy and trauma support at Winthrop, who organized the event.
“We just want to make sure that students are aware of this and they are aware of resources that we have on campus.”
Winthrop students who may have experienced sexual assault are encouraged to contact the Office of Victims Assistance or Campus Police.
It’s estimated that roughly one-in-four college aged women will experience some form of sexual assault and that about 80% of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows.
Jackson says events like the “Red Zone” can help improve things on campus.
“Students can become involved with just sharing the message or bringing awareness to the situation; whether that’s volunteering with the office to do different programs that collaborate with us to bring awareness about the situation or just start shaping the campus culture,” Jackson said.
“So there are different ways that students can be involved and help shape our campus into a more positive one.”