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College Observes Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Unshaken from its convictions by a wintry start to spring, a supportive crowd mills about the ATHS.
Unshaken from its convictions by a wintry start to spring, a supportive crowd mills about the ATHS.
It's a team effort ...
It’s a team effort …
... as Wildcat student-athletes band together.
… as Wildcat student-athletes band together.
Event's reprise shares messages worth repeating.
Event’s reprise shares messages worth repeating.
A curious four-legged friend aids the cause.
A curious four-legged friend aids the cause.

Collaborative activities helped Penn College mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, training the campus community’s collective eye on such topics as healthy relationships and bystander intervention. The year’s second annual Yards for Yeardley event was held on the campus mall, where, despite cold temperatures, more than 100 Penn College athletes and community members walked or ran nearly 700,000 yards (397 miles) to focus attention on sexual violence and related issues. “As part of Athletics’ DIII Week celebrations and April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Student Affairs worked together to host this event that educates about healthy relationships, what to do if you or someone you know is in an unhealthy relationship, and where the resources are here on and off campus,” said Mallory L. Weymer, coordinator of student health and wellness education/suicide prevention specialist. “It’s really inspiring to see the level of commitment our athletes and Penn College teams have toward this cause.” The event pays tribute to Yeardley Love, a University of Virginia lacrosse player beaten to death in 2010 by her ex-boyfriend, and was supported this year by an “It’s On Us” grant from Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Madigan Library assisted with Sexual Assault Awareness Month by installing a consent-themed display of jeans in the building’s atrium. Why jeans? In 1992, an 18-year-old student was raped in Italy by her driving instructor, but an Italian Supreme Court judge ruled there was no way the accused could have removed the woman’s jeans without consent. The case became synonymous with cavalier attitudes about sexual assault, igniting global protests and expressions of disgust and solidarity.
Photos by J.J. Boettcher, student photographer