Cal Poly Safer to Host Sexual Assault Action Month in April
Contact: Diego Abeloos
805-756-7414; [email protected]
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Safer program will host its annual Sexual Assault Action Month (SAAM) campaign in April with outreach, events and opportunities for campus community members to get involved.
Safer is Cal Poly’s prevention education and confidential advocacy resource for sexual assault, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual exploitation and harassment.
Themed “Resistance and Resiliency,” this year’s SAAM includes survivor healing events, therapy dogs, a Lunch and Learn dialogue about consent beyond sex, a community art project and Denim Day. And San Luis Obispo residents might notice the Cal Poly “P” painted teal for two weeks to bring attention to this annual prevention and advocacy campaign.
“Months like this highlight the power of solidarity,” said Jennifer MacMartin, Safer’s violence prevention specialist. “The movement against violence cannot, and will not, happen in isolation. This is a community issue, so it necessitates a community response, and we look forward to strengthening our work in San Luis Obispo. Sexual Assault Action Month is an opportunity to do just that.”
The campaign will culminate Thursday, April 27, for Safer’s biggest event of the year: Take Back the Night, an international survivor solidarity event with roots in San Luis Obispo since the 1980s. Take Back the Night will be hosted in the University Union Plaza on Cal Poly’s campus from 5 to 8:30 p.m. With a focus on uplifting survivors and empowering community, the event will feature live music, catered food, art installations, local vendor and resource fairs, speakers, and a solidarity march. It will conclude with a candlelight vigil.
“This year, we want to focus on joy, even in the face of experiencing really difficult circumstances” said Kara Samaniego, who leads the Safer program as Cal Poly’s assistant director for well-being. “We hope that those who come to Take Back the Night feel the love and care of the community around them and are able to set aside some of their struggles, at least for a brief moment.”
Since its inception in 1996, Cal Poly’s Safer program has grown its prevention education, survivor wellness and confidential advocacy programs into the largest in the California State University system. Now part of the Cal Poly’s Campus Health and Wellbeing, Safer’s advocacy staff supports survivors of violence, and their loved ones, directly by offering confidential crisis support and advocacy, which includes crisis intervention; referrals; accompaniments to health centers, law enforcement interviews, university administrative appointments, and faculty office hours; and more. Safer's prevention education staff engages the campus community in setting pro-social behavior norms and encouraging community accountability to avoid violence. Visit safer.calpoly.edu.