Campus Life

Penn State to hold Sexual Violence Awareness Week events

Male students at Penn State's University Park campus will conduct a 'Walk a Mile in Her Shoes' event on March 28. Participants will mark wearing high-heel shoes to raise awareness about sexual violence. Credit: Patrick Mansell / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Penn State is kicking it off with a week of events centered around educating the community on the issue and the resources available to address it.

"Sexual violence is a very real issue many Penn Staters and people across the country face whether they are a victim of sexual violence or know someone who has been impacted," said Jennifer Pencek, programming coordinator with the Center for Women Students.

Starting Monday, March 28, there will be a variety of events, from “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” to a fashion show, and more programs are planned for the rest of April.

This year will be Stand For State’s first to participate in Sexual Violence Awareness Week, bringing its signature bystander intervention workshop to the schedule of events. Through trainings giving people skills to diffuse or interfere safely in potentially risky or uncomfortable situations, Stand for State aims to prevent sexual misconduct in everyday situations.

The events are sponsored by the University Park Undergraduate Association, the Center for Women Students, and Palmer Museum of Art.

-- Walk A Mile In Her Shoes is the first event, and will take place in front of the HUB-Robeson Center at noon on March 28. This event, which takes the old saying “You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” very literally, is a national event that raises awareness about the causes, effects and remediation to men’s sexualized violence against women. It is hosted by the Penn State Men Against Violence and sponsored by the International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence. Donations from this event benefit the Centre County Women’s Resource Center.

-- Eve Ensler, the Tony Award-winning playwright, performer and activist known for writing “The Vagina Monologues,” is speaking at 6:30 p.m. on March 28 in Alumni Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center. She has created global activism movements V-Day and One Billion Rising.

-- The Palmer Museum of Art is showcasing works created by subjects of trauma in the Vulnerable Art and Trauma Survivorship event. Starting at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29, Penn State feminist art education researcher Hyunji Kwon will be presenting on trauma and suffering through the artworks created by subjects of trauma and artists working on trauma. The exhibit includes paintings of former Japanese comfort women and works from feminist artists Judy Chicago and Donald Woodman’s At Home Project with students at Western Kentucky University depicting domestic and sexual violence at home.

-- The film “Tough Guise 2” will be screened at 8 p.m. on March 29 in Freeman Auditorium in the HUB-Robeson Center. Discussing the social construct of masculinity and societal conditioning to “act like men,” the film looks at how the concept of masculinity contributes to violence in our culture.

-- Stand for State will be presenting a Bystander Intervention workshop from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on March 30 in Room 233 in the HUB-Robeson Center. Workshop participants will learn the three Ds of bystander intervention: direct, distract and delegate.

-- Sisters on the Runway will host its second annual fashion show at 6:30 p.m. on March 30 in Heritage Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center. The nonprofit group is dedicated to preventing domestic and sexual violence and will be raising funds for the Centre County Women’s Resource Center through the fashion show, performances by Penn State a capella groups, dance groups, a raffle and food.

-- The documentary “Pursuit of Truth” will be screened on March 31 at 7 p.m. in Waring Commons. Following adult survivors of child sexual abuse on their search for justice, the documentary features a variety of survivors and experts discussing the long legal process for victims to have justice. After the screening, there will be a discussion hosted by the film’s directors.

-- Finishing the week will be a gala benefiting the Centre County Women’s Resource Center. The gala will split Hintz Alumni Center in half, featuring guest speakers and food on one side and a walk through a survivor’s experience with sexual assault on the other side. For gala tickets and details, contact Jennifer Pencek at

Last Updated April 19, 2017