Sexual Assault Awareness Month Events

Options has several community activities and exhibits coming up during April in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Below is a list of all of the public events that community members are encouraged to attend or visit.

What Were You Wearing

Date: April 1 – 8
Location: Fort Hays State University, Taylor Gallery in the Center for Applied Technology building
Time: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Join Options and Jana’s Campaign in this exhibit that highlights real survivor stories. This art installation challenges the belief that what a person was wearing attributed to their sexual assault.  An advocate will be present during open hours.

Student Advisory Board Poster Making

Date: April 3
Location: Options Conference Room
Time: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

The Hays High Student Advisory Board is gathering to create posters about consent. These posters will be displayed at the Spring Art Walk. Art supplies will be provided.

Times Talk with SANE/SART Nurse Program

Date: April 6
Location: Fort Hays State University, Forsyth Library
Time: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Times Talk is a series hosted by the American Democracy Project providing short presentations to the Fort Hays State University community relating to civic or political engagement, civil discourse, and social or political issues. For Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Times Talk is inviting the sexual assault nurse examination team to speak.

Love and Healthy Relationships Expo

Date: April 6
Location:  Fort Hays State University, Black and Gold Room in the Memorial Union
Time: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The Center for Empowering Victims of Gender-based Violence is hosting an expo centered around healthy relationships. Options staff will be in attendance to take an in-depth look at victim blaming and how to advocate for your friends.

Tunnel of Oppression

Date: April 7
Location: Fort Hays State University, Ball Room and Black and Gold Room in the Memorial Union
Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Student Engagement is hosting the Tunnel of Oppression to showcase the trials different individuals may face based on their gender, sexuality, race, etc. Options is partnering with Us 4 U to show the struggles individuals encounter when trying to leave their abuser.

Red Flag Garden

Date: April 11
Location: Fort Hays State University, Quad
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Us 4 U and Options are partnering to put on the Red Flag Garden to showcase problematic relationship behaviors. Each red flag we “plant” will have a different behavior that is a “warning sign” for abusive relationships. A FREE meal will be provided for the first 20 students that come to the event.

What Were You Wearing – Colby

Date: April 13
Location: Colby Community College, Fireside Lounge in the Student Union
Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This art installation challenges the belief that what a person was wearing attributed to their sexual assault. The exhibit asks viewers to understand that sexual assault is NEVER about the clothing the survivor was wearing. The sexual assault violates the survivor’s mind, physical being, and emotions; it is not simply woven into the fabric of the survivor’s clothing. An advocate will be present during open hours.

Can We Just Talk? – Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Date: April 14
Location: Breathe Coffee House
Time: 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

In order to promote powerful communication, Breathe Coffee House is hosting “Can We Just Talk.” For sexual assault awareness month, the Options Campus Advocate has been invited to speak about issues surrounding sexual assault and domestic violence in the community.

Strangulation Summit

Date: April 20
Location: Zoom (please email summit@help4abuse.org to register)
Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Speakers Kelsey McKay, Jessica Albers, and Colleen Brooks will be talking about the issues surrounding strangulation in domestic or sexual violence cases. The Summit will be presented virtually FREE of cost. A zoom invite will be sent with registration confirmation. Register by emailing summit@help4abuse.org. Please include in the body of the email your name, position and organization.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Date: April 22
Location: Fort Hays State University, Quad
Time: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

There is an old saying: “You can’t understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” To get people listening, learning, and talking, Sigma Chi and Options are hosting Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. This event is a campus-wide march to bring awareness to sexualized violence.

Trinity Lutheran Benefit BBQ

Date: April 24
Location: Trinity Lutheran Church
Time: 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Trinity Lutheran Church is hosting a free-will donation BBQ. A variety of smoked meats, baked beans, coleslaw, and dessert will be available. All proceeds will be donated to Options.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes – Colby

Date: April 29
Location: Colby Community College, Quad
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Colby Community College and Options are hosting Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. This event is a campus-wide march to bring awareness to sexualized violence.

Shine Your Support – Colby

Date: April 29
Location: Colby Community College, Student Union
Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Students at CCC and community members of Colby are encouraged to decorate their homes with purple light bulbs or other purple/teal decorations in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Free purple lightbulbs will be provided to individuals wanting to participate.

Spring Art Walk

Date: April 30
Location: Downing Nelson Oil Company (111 W 10th St, Hays)
Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Join Options at the Spring Art Walk to participate in an interactive art therapy exhibit. The exhibit will feature a wedding dress and tuxedo which participants are encouraged to paint on, write on, cut, or tear to express their feelings regarding their own relationship trauma. The Hays High School Student Advisory board will also be present for a bake sale where all proceeds will be donated to Options. Entries for the poster contest can also be viewed at the Spring Art Walk, and Options will announce the winner that afternoon.

Tardeada Community Fiesta

Date: May 7
Location: Downtown Pavilion (10th & Main in Hays)
Time: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.

United Way of Ellis County invites the public to an evening filled with information and fun. Come learn about the different resources and services agencies provide while enjoying some local foods. Additionally, there will be piñatas, a dance and cultural booths. Options will have an information table up from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Rock Against Rape

Date: May 7
Location: Sip N’ Spin (209 W 10th St, Hays)
Time: 8 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

Take a stand against sexual assault and rape at this concert hosted by Options. There is no entry fee to attend. Featuring: Modern Mystics, Free Minded, Blast Monkeys, Graveside, Kuwabara, and Cactus Collateral.

If you need any additional information, have a question, or a concern, feel free to reach out to Options at our 24-hour toll free helpline by calling 800-794-4624. You can also reach us via text by texting HOPE to 847411 or click “Chat with an Advocate” on the right of your screen.

Written by Anniston Weber