School Life
Safety & Healthy Boundaries

Emma Observes Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Erin Pihlaja
For the first time ever, this April, Emma Willard School participated in the nationally coordinated observation of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  
 
The month-long campus initiatives were led by the Emma Core Leadership Team (CLT), who found guidance and resources from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. The theme of this year’s national campaign was “Embrace Your Voice,” and the CLT canvassed the campus with materials and signage to bring awareness to sexual assault statistics and suggestions on how to help survivors.
 
Advisors and advisees took special time to talk about issues surrounding sexual violence and together colored sheets with messages such as, “Your voice has power” and “Believe Survivors” to hang up around campus.
 
Student volunteers also attended an off-campus event called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” which was organized by St. Peter’s Health Partners to raise awareness for survivors of violence and funding to benefit the preventive and supportive services provided by the Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Assistance Program.
 
Four Emma nurses—Jen Bliss, Erica Beyer, Jen Mazzariello, and Sarah Fischer, took specialized training with the Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Assistance Program to learn how to respond to sexual assault. The training included how to forensically gather evidence following an assault, and how to handle the needs of victims.
 
The CLT looks forward to planning for next year, expanding programming, and continuing to raise awareness throughout the year. 
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