This month, the university is holding a variety of events advocating for sexual assault survivors and promoting awareness for the issue across campus.
Last week, Carlson Library and Centennial Mall were home to the “What Were You Wearing” and “Red Flag” campaigns, geared towards raising awareness on sexual assault in the community.
The Title IX Office at UT is continuously creating new campaigns to raise awareness across campus.
“The Title IX Office is committed to creating a safe environment for everyone,” while investigating sexual misconduct and providing education, prevention and outreach to students and faculty, the office said.
This was UT’s first year creating its own “What Were You Wearing” campaign, which originally started in 2013 at the University of Arkansas, Lindsay Tuttle, Title IX Office coordinator said.
Twenty-four outfits that victims had on when they were assaulted were recreated and displayed, debunking the myth that sexual assault is caused by provocative clothing, Tuttle said.
Throughout the week, different organizations also had presentations at the exhibit, including Sexual Assault Education Jeopardy with the YWCA.
Over 440 faculty and students visited the exhibit last week, Tuttle said.
The responses were overwhelmingly positive, said Jamie Wlosowicz, graduate assistant in the Sexual Assault Education & Prevention Program at the Title IX Office. The office gathered surveys on response to both installations.
Students thought they were both very powerful and put a very real, tangible perspective to sexual assault, Wlosowicz said.
Because of its success, the Title IX Office plans to continue the exhibit next April, Wlosowicz said.
The Red Flag Campaign also showed the campus the scope of sexual assault within the community. There were 336 red flags displayed in Centennial Mall, each one representing one of the 336 reported rapes from the City of Toledo last year.
The campaign originated from the Virginia Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Action Alliance, Tuttle said.
Wlosowicz said she believed it was a very effective campaign because, “You see all the red flags, and it shows people this does happen much more than we realize.”
Kayla Noon, a second-year young adult education major, said that all of the flags shocked her, because it’s hard to imagine such a large number in your head, but seeing so many flags makes it easy to realize what a big problem it really is in Toledo.
Sexual assault awareness events will continue throughout the month of April.