Events to highlight the serious, yet hidden, problem of domestic violence and sexual assault will take place on the University of Missouri-Rolla campus April 23-27.
The week-long awareness program, dubbed “Wite Out,” is designed to encourage more reporting of incidents and to promote safety.
Beginning on Monday, April 23, a group of volunteers will promise to take a 24-hour silent stand against domestic violence and sexual assault. The individuals will not communicate in any manner for a 24-hour period, will paint their faces white, and will wear white gloves and a white long-sleeve shirt that tells they story of the death of the victim they represent.
The “Wite Out” volunteers will pass out bookmarks with white ribbons to encourage others to show support and spread awareness of the fight against domestic violence and sexual assault.
“Basic Safety,” a program by UMR police officer Letha Young, will held at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in the Havener Center.
The campus community is invited to participate in a “silent hour” on Wednesday, April 25. Participants are asked to wear a white shirt and meet at the Havener Atrium. The group then will walk across campus silently.
For a $2 donation, UMR faculty and staff can wear denim jeans on Thursday, April 26. All proceeds will benefit the Russell House. Participants will receive a white ribbon to wear to show their support. The annual Denim Day event began in April 1999 in response to an Italian Supreme Court decision to overturn a rape conviction because the victim wore jeans.
A silent walk and gathering will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday evening at the Student Health Center. Participants will wear white T-shirts and walk to the Havener Center, where UMR alumnus Fred Vogt will discuss how women can remain safe while going about their daily lives. Author of “See Sally Kick Ass: A Woman’s Guide to Personal Safety,” Vogt received bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering and a master of science degree in engineering management from UMR in 1967 and 1968, respectively.
A moment of silence will follow Vogt’s presentation before the silent walk, guided by candlelight, will continue around campus. The evening’s event will conclude with a “speak out” at the Havener Atrium.
The above events, which are free and open to the public, are presented by the Student Health Center and the UMR Police Department.
Young will also present “Rape Aggression Defense” from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, and again on Saturday, May 5. The $25 program will provide realistic self-defense tactics and techniques for women.