Sexual assault prevention month kicks off at WKU
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – April is nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Prevention Month. Tuesday activities kicked off on the campus of Western Kentucky University to raise awareness about the issue of sexual violence in Bowling Green.
Hope Harbor has partnered with several other organizations to promote resources for those who have experienced sexual assault or sexual misconduct.
The theme this year is consent, a topic some students say can be awkward to talk about.
“I think a lot of times people aren’t comfortable with it because, either the person you’re asking is nervous or the other person is nervous because it’s not something that we think we need to ask for, but it’s something that’s really important,” said Tyra Chatman, social work major at WKU.
One student said drugs and alcohol can make it difficult to get consent.
“I had a girl text me to meet up, and she kept trying to do stuff. I noticed she was drunk, and I said ‘no,’ because I couldn’t bring myself to do that,” said Tray Williams, physical education major at WKU.
Conversations about consent can be difficult, and sometimes people don’t know how to have them. At Hope Harbor they offer these tips.
“You have to know what you’re consenting to, and it has to be freely given too so you can’t coerce somebody. If someone says no, and you try to convince them to say yes, that’s not really consent,” said Alayna Milby, crisis intervention specialist at Hope Harbor in Bowling Green.
Milby advises talking about consent before meeting in person.
“If you’re talking to someone on Tinder or over text message, saying ‘hey we’re going to be going out tonight, are you going to be OK with coming back to my place and us hooking up.’ So, both parties have the same understanding, and can expect the same things for the evening,” said Milby.
Hope Harbor offers one final tip when it comes to consent, it’s always OK to change your mind and revoke consent.